Reducing food waste not only saves money, but is also beneficial to the environment; and all of us must make a conscious effort to change the way we buy and consume food.
Research from WRAP shows that £13 billion of edible food was needlessly thrown away from homes in 2015. The latest results show that 7.3 million tonnes of food is wasted which, if prevented, would have the environmental benefit of taking one in four cars off the road!
WRAP, the food waste experts that work with governments, businesses, local authorities and consumers to reduce waste, is calling for everyone to ‘Unite in the food waste fight.’
Building on the success of its work with food manufacturers and retailers that have already cut 219,000 tonnes of waste worth £100 million, WRAP’s Hospitality and Foodservice Agreement has also helped the industry prevent further food waste worth over £67 million between 2012 and 2015.
In addition, WRAP’s consumer campaign, Love Food Hate Waste, helps raise awareness of the issue of food waste and offers easy ways for individuals to reduce the amount of food they throw away. Since its launch, consumers have saved £13 billion by not buying food that would otherwise go to waste.
Meanwhile, the Courtauld Commitment 2025 is an ambitious voluntary agreement that brings together organisations across the food system – from producer to consumer – to make food and drink production and consumption more sustainable.
So, to help the cause, what can you do to minimise food waste? The best advice is to be more retail savvy and mindful about the food you are buying. Plan ahead for the following week’s meals and try to re-use leftovers to create additional dishes. Don’t throw away leftover veg – make a soup or a stir-fry!
There are many ways to be resourceful in the kitchen and lovefoodhatewaste.com has compiled a list of the nation’s best leftover food recipes to help you keep food out of the bin.
For those in the hospitality and restaurant sector, there are also simple changes you can make to reduce waste in the commercial kitchen. The ‘Too Good to Waste’ campaign, launched by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), encourages restaurants to use prep waste in the creation of other dishes, such as broccoli stalks for soup; to offer customers different portion sizes on menus; to use different cuts of meat to create wholesome dishes; to store food at the correct temperature and to label products correctly; and finally, to encourage diners to take food home in a doggy box or bag!
Minimising food waste is a collective responsibility and we can all make simple changes which will ultimately make a huge difference to the environment and to the economy.