What's the big problem?
We throw out about 20% of all food purchased, or about 345kg per household, per year (that's about the same weight as three average size fridges!).
Up to 40% of your household bin is likely to be discarded food.
Unless you live in an area where food waste is collected and composted, much of the food you throw in your general waste bin will end up in landfill. As it breaks down in landfill it creates greenhouse gases, including methane which is 25% more potent than the pollution from your car.
Add this to the fact our kitchens are also the end-point for a lot of food packaging (think coffee pods and plastic packaging) and it's clear to most of us that this room is one of our home's biggest waste generators.
What can you do?
For more than a decade the Love Food, Hate Waste campaign has helped people around the world reduce the amount of food they throw away at home. The below guide draws inspiration from the initiative and is designed to help you combat food waste.
Four simple steps to reducing food waste are:
- PLAN your meals in advance
- BUY only what you need at the shops
- COOK as per your meal plan
- STORE ingredients and leftovers well
It’s also worth knowing some of the reasons why we waste so much food - and identifying which ones you might be able to tackle in your home.
|Reason we over-buy||How to stop food waste in its tracks|
|Cooking too much food||Rather than discard why not freeze the leftovers to give you a quick meal for another night, or pack it as lunch the next day?|
|Not knowing how to use excess items||Dust off that blender! Soups, stews and smoothies can be a great way to use up extra cooked and raw ingredients.|
|Not checking the fridge, pantry and freezer before you shop||Plan ahead – know what you have and stick to your shopping list. If in doubt, don’t buy it this time.|
|Shopping while hungry||Have a snack before you hit the shops – it’s five minutes well spent, and will help you walk away with the items you need and a smaller shopping bill|
When you’ve already got a fridge full of food, takeaways, while convenient, are a poor choice for many reasons.
Did you know you can whip up an omelette or bowl of pasta in almost the same time that it takes for the delivery driver to get lost while bringing your takeaway?