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Sustainable summer: Fair Food Auckland

3 min read
Fair Food Auckland

Fair Food’s volunteer manager Waiata Tucker lending a hand in the kitchen. Photo: Supplied

Campers are some of the most sustainably conscious holidaymakers, but even if you’re a seasoned expert there are lots of easy choices you can make to ensure you leave no trace.

Zero-waste waste

In New Zealand, we throw away around 300,000 tonnes of food a year. That’s the weight of 1500 blue whales. Food waste is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions producing four times more than the aviation industry. Here are a few quick ways to minimise waste.

The first step to reducing waste is to plan ahead. Make a meal list focussing on using the whole ingredient instead of packaged food whenever possible. This saves you from having to deal with rubbish when you’re in the bush.

Nothing ruins a trip more than seeing litter when you’re off the beaten path. There are lots of great reusable products on the market so ditch the disposable and single-use items. Beeswax paper is a great alternative to plastic wrap, and shampoo bars are a zero-waste option that takes up no space.

Cooking with broccoli? Grate the stalk and add it to any of your stews or side dishes or serve as a standalone slaw.

If you’ve got a lot of food scraps or will be out of town for a while, bokashi is a great composting option. All you need is a bucket and the bokashi mix. Easy as, and your plants will thank you when you bring it home.

Let’s get cooking

Fair Food’s in-house chef Adele Duncan shares some delicious recipes that are easy to make and ideal for taking along on camping adventures.

Recipe: Homemade Baked Beans

This baked beans recipe can be used as a base to make some camping favourites. Try them as nachos, on top of a baked potato, with rice or in a burrito. The quantities listed below will make one meal for a family of four so adjust as required. The recipe is best made ahead of time and then frozen into portions to be used as needed. The frozen portions can double as your ice packs for the chilly bin, and you can reuse the containers to store leftovers.

  • 6 big tomatoes (or 1 tin)
  • 2 cans of tinned beans
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2x diced onions
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 500ml of liquid stock
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika  
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • ½ tbsp coriander powder             
  • Salt and black pepper (to taste)


  • Sauté garlic and onions until soft.
  • Add paprika, coriander, oregano, and salt and pepper to the pan and sauté for two minutes.
  • Add drained beans, crushed tomatoes, and stock to the pot and stir.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the liquid has reduced and is spoonable.

Recipe: Jar Dressing

Here’s a Fair Food Jar Dressing recipe that’s perfect on your summer salad and makes a great marinade for your fish or meat. This ratio works whether you’re fishing alone or feeding the whole whānau.


  • 1 part balsamic or apple cider vinegar    
  • 2 parts oil (olive or canola)
  • 1 spoonful of wholegrain mustard
  • 1 spoonful of honey       
  • Salt and black pepper (to taste)


  • Put all the ingredients in a jar and shake. After around four minutes, it will thicken.
  • Reshake the jar every time before you use the dressing. 

Who is Fair Food?

Fair Food is Auckland’s original food rescue charity. They’ve been on the road since 2011 keeping good food from landfills and feeding families who would otherwise go without it. Last year, they provided fresh food for more than 1.8 million meals to the community and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 1648 tonnes.

Every $1 donated provides the food for two meals to families in need.

To help support Fair Food’s vital work or to find out more, visit

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