Most of us associate Christmas time with laughter, joy, gifts and loved ones, and we perceive it as a time where we can indulge in our favourite foods.
In fact, ABC News estimates that Australians will spend around $10 billion on food this Christmas.
While this sounds like an obscene figure, when we consider all the food that is prepared not only in homes on Christmas day, but at the events held by businesses prior to the big day, it is quite realistic.
From the appetisers, the turkey and the ham through to the pudding, fresh seafood and everything in between, we really do go overboard.
Speaking to ABC News, Ronnie Khan, founder, Oz Harvest expects drivers will pick up around 150 tonnes of unwanted food during December.
“From mid-October to the end of December, we call this our harvest period,” she adds.
Janet Sparrow, recycling programs manager, Planet Ark, tells ABC News that both businesses and individuals can adopt some simple strategies to avoid food wastage during the Christmas period.
She explains that planning ahead is vital. Home cooks should avoid rushing out to the supermarket to purchase food supplies that they think they may need, and business owners should avoid doing the same with their suppliers.
Instead, they should think about what it is they want to include on their menus both prior to, and on, Christmas day, and consider how many people they need to cater for.
Business owners should determine food quantities based on the number of bookings received, and perhaps purchase a little more in the event that last minute bookings arise.
Sparrow also highlights the importance of considering leftovers. Rather than throw them out, offer them to organisations such as Oz Harvest, store or freeze them, or share them with friends and family.
P and H Fine Foods can help businesses avoid wastage at Christmas time, as its speciality Christmas range consists of turkey products that are available cooked sous vide.
Turkey products in the sous vide range can be heated in the bag and then sliced and served based on customer demand.
Even better, they can be reheated as required and have a shelf life of 28 days, so there is no need to discard turkeys that have been barely touched due to the fear that they may cause food poisoning.
The turkeys are filled with a range of delicious tasting stuffings, including:
- Jarrahdale – roast pumpkin, pipeta seeds, English spinach
- Porcini – bread, porcini, onions, speck, Maderia
- Bon Bon – apricots, peaches, hazelnuts, cognac, fresh herbs
- Chesnut, sage and onion, fresh herbs
- Pistachio, cranberry, fresh herbs