IT’S TIME FOR the New Year’s resolutions: please put reducing food waste at the top of your list.
Nine and a half million tonnes of food is discarded in the UK each year, with 6.5 million tonnes of this suitable for consumption, according to Waste and Resources Action Programme. That’s the equivalent of 15 billion meals!
Apart from saving you money, reducing waste food reduces water consumption, leaves more nutrients in soils, provides more space for biodiversity, and reduces energy use. Energy is used to grow the products, package them, transport them to your house, and then to prepare and cook them. All food wasted has used up this energy to no purpose and can then create more greenhouse gases during disposal, even if it is creating some useful energy in the anaerobic digesters.
The key skills needed here are a shopping list, better storage and a plethora of recipes for the leftovers. Help starts with the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, www.lovefoodhatewaste.com, with tips to plan shopping, use up leftovers, and find new recipes for that odd collection of stuff in the fridge. Perhaps the most useful, particularly in these times of Covid when many people are shopping less frequently, is their A-Z guide on best storage methods for different foods – whether freezing is possible, how to keep things fresher for longer, and ideas for using up bits and pieces. It also tells you how long you can keep things after the ‘best before’ date has past lovefoodhatewaste.com/article/food-storage-a-z