Alarm over the environment, soaring grocery prices and global food shortages and yet every year £10 billion pounds of food is being thrown away by Britons announced WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) www.wrap.org.uk. This needless wasted food costs the average household throws out £420 of good food a year. For the average family with children it’s higher at £610. In the UK, we throw away one third of the food we buy, so that’s like one in three bagfuls of food shopping going straight into the bin.
Researchers found that more than half of the food thrown out was still edible, is bought and simply left unused or untouched. The study believed to be the first of its kind in the world, that monitored the rubbish of 2138 people, revealed that £1 billion worth of wasted food is still “in date”.
Eliminating the huge level of food waste would have significant environmental consequences. Local authorities £1 billion a year to dispose of food waste and this leads to the release of methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases. WRAP calculated that stopping the waste of good food could avoid 18 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents from being emitted each year – the same as taking 1 in 5 cars off of UK roads.
With rising food prices and increased demand for farmland to grow biofuels, it’s ridiculous to keep wasting this level of food. So as individuals, the basic tips to prevent food waste are:
* Plan for the next week’s or fortnight’s meals and shop for these items and don’t get tempted by bulk buy offers.
* Keep a close check on use-by dates and eat in order of date.
* “Best before date” food can still be eaten after the date, it just means that they wont be at their best, although eggs are an exception and should not be eaten after the best before date.
* Got a few vegetables left over? Dice them up add to boiling water with a bit of stock and you have soup.
* Cook to your audience and don’t over cater. If you do over cater don’t just throw away leftovers, use it for lunch the next day or freeze it for another occasion.
For further tips go to www.lovefoodhatewaste.com, the WRAP Love Food Hate Waste campaign.
For more information on Love Food Hate waste go to www.lovefoodhatewaste.com