The Western world wastes three times the amount of food needed to feed the planet’s hungriest people.
From our farms to our supermarkets, tonnes of perfectly edible food ends up in landfill, while statistics suggest that the average family in the UK throws away £700 worth of food a year – that’s £12 billion nationwide.
Not only is this a waste of good food, it’s also a waste of the resources that were used to produce it – from the water, heat and fertilisers used in the growing process to the energy consumed during its transportation. When you consider that the equivalent of 86 million chickens alone are thrown away every year in the UK* , the story becomes even more shocking.
We believe that minimising food waste is vital to maintaining a responsible and sustainable food system. Reducing waste allows for better distribution of nutritious food to those that need it and eases the enormous strain on the planet’s resources.
We’re taking steps to do this by educating people on the value of food, where it comes from and the amount of resources needed to produce it. There’s so much that can be done to make things better and it’s a job not only for the food industry; everyone can play a part.
Here are some quick tips and tricks to help you get started…
1. MAKE A PLAN
Plan your meals for the week so you’re less likely to over-shop.
2. WRITE A SHOPPING LIST
Check your fridge, freezer and cupboards before you go shopping so you know exactly what you need. Write it down so you’re more likely to stick to it.
3. BEST-BEFORE AND USE-BY DATES
Understand the difference between best-before dates and use-by dates so you’re not throwing away edible food. Click here for more info.
4. EMBRACE WONKY FRUIT & VEG
They still have just as many nutrients and are just as tasty as perfectly shaped produce, even if they are a bit ugly!
5. OPEN YOUR MIND
Be more open-minded about how you buy and eat food – try more unusual cuts of meat or buy sustainable whole fish and use the leftover bones and head to make a delicious stock.
6. LOOK OUT FOR PULLET EGGS
These small eggs from young hens are not large enough to meet supermarkets’ criteria, so they’re often wasted. In truth, they’re the best quality egg you can buy, so keep an eye out for them on sites, such as themacsfarm.co.uk.
7. CHECK YOUR FRIDGE AND FREEZER
Make sure your fridge and freezer are set to the right temperature. This will help food keep for longer.
8. PORTION OUT FOOD
Weigh out foods such as rice, pasta and vegetables so you don’t end up cooking too much and throwing it away.
9. EMBRACE YOUR LEFTOVERS
Portion out leftovers into freezer bags, label and date them, then pop them in the freezer ready for a quick weekday supper.
10. SAVE WITH JAMIE
Check out Jamie’s book Save with Jamie for plenty more ideas on how to shop smart, cook clever and waste less. Click here to view some of the recipes.
As a business, we’re also evaluating how we can further minimise food waste across our restaurants, shops and products. We already have several measures in place with our suppliers, such as feeding our pigs on a diet of 90% recycled food and using higher-welfare eggs that aren’t large enough to pass supermarket stipulations. Within our restaurant kitchens, we’re mindful of not cooking more than we can sell and using up leftover ingredients wherever possible. The reduction of food waste is a journey we are on ourselves and like most things in life, we believe prevention is better than cure.
*Stats provided by WRAP