Our senses are one of the few things we get for free. We should use them. And at a time of year when we’re over-stocking on the food we actually need, rather than chucking it away, there is no better time to get inventive with leftovers.

Too many of us choose not to trust to the visual, taste or olfactory senses we are blessed with any more. Without even bothering to masticate, digest and defecate the food we buy, most of it is sent to landfill.

There really is a simple rule. You don’t need to throw it away unless it is actually decomposing.

Next time you open the fridge, don’t check the dates, use your senses. First your eyes. Is it mouldy or has it changed its physical state since last you looked? If not have a sniff. Does it smell like it did when you tasted it last? If yes, then stick your finger in it and have a taste. If it tastes good, just eat it.

The natural order of things is for us humans to use food before it goes to waste. And the reason that our tables traditionally groaned with dishes and jars during holiday time is because we knew how to use and preserve things with care to see us through the lean times of winter.

You are about to fill your fridge with food. This holiday, make a promise that you will eat it all.