How to reduce salad waste

With the weather heating up here in the UK, so are sales of salad. But do you ever find a bag of salad, or a tired lettuce at the back of your fridge? Or do you get given a box of beautiful home grown lettuces and then accidentally leave them in a hot car for nearly 2 days, ahem 🤦🏽

None of us can afford to throw food away but in the UK we waste a staggering 2 million tonnes of untouched or opened food. Salad is one of the most wasted foods, with around 40% of bagged salad getting chucked. That’s just crazy. So this week, I’m sharing five simple ideas to reduce salad waste, be more eco-friendly and save money too!

1. Grow your own living salad

You can grow your own cut and grow salad on even the smallest window ledge. Packets of seeds start from as little as 50p and you can sow one tray, wait until it starts sprouting and sow another tray. By this time the first one will be ready for cutting and eating. Then start the second and resow the original tray - keep going!

2. Choose longer lasting varieties

Locally grown salad should last longer, simply because it’s had less far to travel to be in the shop, and so will be fresher and less ‘travel weary’ (bashed around).  Whole heads of lettuce can last weeks in the fridge, whereas a bag of salad leaves can start to turn in a day.

3. Store salad the right way

Storing food correctly can massively increase its shelf life. Here’s 3 tips how you can store salad to keep it fresher for longer.

  • Wash, clean and dry it first - removing any spoilt leaves that have already turned.
  • Put in an airtight container lined with an unpaper towel that will absorb any moisture. Alternatively wrap in a wax wrap to keep fresher for longer!
  • Store salad in the crisper drawer in your fridge, it should be the ideal temperature for salad. Also check your fridge is at 4 degrees - the most efficient temperature for keeping your food freshest for longest.



4. Swap salad for coleslaw

Homemade coleslaw is a fabulous salad alternative, with cabbage and carrot storing for much longer than salad, and cheaper to buy too.

5. Make wilted lettuce soup

Ok, hear me out on this one. Lettuce Soup may not sound all that appealing, but I promise you it is SO delicious. Storing food properly is key, but when it’s passed it, don’t bin it, think ‘can I soup it?’

Here’s Emily’s basic recipe for wilted lettuce soup (Emily works on our sister site Green Tulip Ethical Gifts.

  • Lettuce - or any old salad leaves will do 
  • Handful of frozen peas
  • A bit of old celery
  • Bit of oil.
  • Vegetable stock

Wang it in a pan, sauté for a bit, add stock and then whizz up. Simple as that. Just add what you have. Go wild 💚🥬🌎

N.B Emily is not a chef, hence wang and whizz.

Now go forth, enjoy that sunshine safe with the knowledge your salad will not be wasted!

Kate 😊