Love food hate waste

A third of the food we buy we throw away! What foods do you usually end up binning? Leave your comments in the editor’s blog.

Love food hate waste

A new government backed campaign has been launched, revealing that we throw away a staggering third of food we buy in the UK – and most of this food could have been eaten.

This astonishing statistic follows pioneering research undertaken earlier this year by

WRAP

, the Waste & Resources Action Programme which shows that for every three bags of shopping we bring home, we effectively put one straight in the bin.

WRAP’s chief executive Dr Liz Goodwin went on to say that ‘It is sad that so much food is being wasted needlessly. At a cost of £ 8 billion a year, it’s a serious issue that not only impacts the environment but our pockets too”.

I couldn’t agree more; wasting food borders on criminal and yet we are all responsible. We should all start taking action if not to ease our conscience then our bank balance, which has got to be of interest to everyone.

The ‘

Love Food Hate Waste

’ campaign has been created to raise awareness of the issue with consumers and provide information on what simple steps can be taken to combat the problem, which also has a significant environmental impact.

Their research has shown that 90% of consumers are completely unaware of the amount of food they throw away. Most of the food thrown away ends up in landfill where it produces methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas. However, this is only part of the picture. They say you also have to consider all the embedded energy used to produce, package, transport and deliver the food to our homes with produces the equivalent of at least 15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

OK, so I’m sure you can see the picture emerging. As a former chef and food writer I have always been aware of food waste (believe me there’s nothing like having a big hairy head chef breathing down your neck as a young and impressionable commie, to get the ‘no waste’ message across). But I still do it, busy lives, best intentions, laziness – call it what you want.

My partner and I have waged a small war with our own fridge – no more shall food die cold and lonely on our Smeg shelves. Already this week three uncooked pork sausages, left over from the weekend have been transformed into a pork, chilli (dried flakes from the store cupboard), lemon and cream sauce for pasta. Half a bag of sad, limp but not off rocket leaves wilted down with a little butter and stirred into mash. And our final triumph this week a fresh (well almost) parsley, chorizo (stub end of), and very thinly sliced (because there wasn’t much) Camembert omelette.

Next assault, my freezer, which is packed with unidentifiable icy misshapen blocks of well, stuff (I’m not very good at using the handy sticky labels that come with the freezer bags), so while my intentions to freeze food that’s about to go off is good it does mean next week’s eating is going to be a sort of ‘let’s defrost it and see if we can turn it into a meal’ affair.

The store cupboard (or larder if you’re really foodie) is going to be my final kitchen frontier. You know the story – lots of opened jars where you have used one tablespoon, for that one time you tried Vietnamese cooking. And I won’t even get started on the dried herbs and spices.

Fridge, freezer, store cupboard – there you have three departments of the kitchen that I guarantee you will find enough ingredients to cook up a meal right now that you haven’t planned and possible has never been eaten before. Mind you, when you hear yourself offering people a slice of your homemade chocolate and taramasalata gateau (fresh from The Vicar of Dibley’s Mrs Cropper school of cookery), it might be best to stop improvising.  

Click

here

to read award-winning journalist Richard Johnson’s thoughts.

  

Log on and have your say here. Let us know the ingredient you always end up throwing out because you can never seem to finish it or use it up before it goes off. And we’d also love to hear your inspirational leftover recipes.

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