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Understanding the Most Wasted Foods

Understanding the Most Wasted Foods

Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries & the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, globally, it is estimated that one third of edible food is lost or wasted each year (Gustavsson et al., 2011). South Africa generates about 10.2 million tonnes of food waste throughout the supply chain annually (Nahman and De Lange, 2013).

Food waste comes with food insecurity as well as economic and environmental impacts. Efforts to reduce food waste therefore provide an attractive opportunity to improve food security in South Africa as well as to reduce the economic and environmental impacts associated with it.

Life is often to blame, causing us to see “nothing” in a fridge full of food, but Hellmann’s Mayonnaise can help transform all that “nothing” into a delicious something. Join our mission to #MakeTasteNotWaste and make the most of your food with our easy tips and tricks.

The top 5 most wasted ingredients in our homes are as follows:

  • Bread
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Potatoes
  • Apples

There are many things we can do with these delicious ingredients to use them up. We can either store them for longer periods or we can cook them. Here are some options to increase shelf life or use up these most wasted ingredients:


Store milk on refrigerator shelves, where it's cooler, rather than in the refrigerator doors, which tend to be warmer. Milk can be frozen! Milk can last for up to 6 weeks in the freezer, without any impact on its flavor and nutritional value. Freeze unopened milk containers in their original packaging before the ‘best-before’ date.


It's important to store bread the right way to prevent spoilage and food wastage. Bread should be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight or heat sources. It's also best to store bread in an airtight container or bag. If you're not going to eat the bread within a few days, it's best to freeze it.


The best way to store cheese is by wrapping it in wax paper or parchment paper and then placing it in a plastic bag. You can also freeze cheese by wrapping it in wax paper or parchment paper and then placing it in a freezer-safe bag. Freezing will help the cheese to last for up to six months.


The best way to store potatoes is actually quite simple - and it all comes down to preventing food waste. Here’s how:

First, make sure your potatoes are clean before storing them. This will help them stay fresher for longer.Second, keep your potatoes in a cool, dark place. A pantry or cupboard is ideal. Third, if you have more than one potato, make sure to store them in a single layer. This will help them stay fresh and prevent them from bruising.Fourth, avoid storing potatoes in the fridge


To prevent apples from turning brown, create a water bath for your apple slices with a ratio of 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of water. Soak the apple slices for 3 to 5 minutes, then drain and rinse them. This simple step should keep your apples from browning. To freeze apples, it's best to put them in a lemon juice or salt water bath first, which will keep them from browning.

Then strain the slices, put them into a freezer bag, and pop them into the freezer. Or use with our Amarula Crepe recipe.

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