Ideas to help you tackle waste this Food Waste Action Week
This Food Waste Action Week (7th – 13th March), we’re serious about turning the tide on food waste and climate change and we’d love you to get involved! With the easing of lockdown, household food waste has begun to rise again as people fall back into old habits, so here are our tips to help you take action on your food waste.
The hard truth about food waste
Approximately 4.5 million tonnes of edible food is thrown away each year by UK households – the equivalent of 8 meals per week, 38 million wheelie bins or 90 Royal Albert Halls! With approximately a third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions associated with food and drink, this is a major issue. How can you take action on your food waste?
Don’t let plastic fool you into buying more than you need
Recent research by sustainability charity WRAP has demystified the idea that single-use plastic on fruit and veg helps prevent waste, debunking the claim that your produce will stay fresher for longer this way. In fact, the study found that plastic packaging makes little or no difference to their shelf life and often makes you buy more than you need, worsening the problem of wasted food.
Households in the UK throw away almost half a million tonnes of fresh vegetables and salad and a quarter of a million tonnes of fresh fruit – worth a massive £2.1bn – each year because it had gone mouldy or soft. WRAP’s study found that if only five items – apples, bananas, broccoli, cucumber and potatoes - were sold loose in the UK, it could save over 10,300 tonnes of plastic and about 100,000 tonnes of food from being wasted each year. To visualise, that’s equivalent to an enormous 14 million shopping baskets of food!
Storing your loose fruit and veggies in the fridge at below 5 degrees is optimal for extending the life of your produce. In the case of apples, the sustainable charity even found that this could give them months more quality product life!
You’ll find plenty of fresh fruit and veggies in our plastic-free aisle. Take a look here.
Buy only what you need – and top up if you’re running low.
Rather than over-buying and throwing away good food, buying in what you know you need is a good idea. That’s where we can help! Top up your weekly orders with fresh produce from our Best of Local range, as and when you need it.
What’s more, 30% of global CO2 greenhouse gases are created from the production and distribution of food, so by buying local you can help protect the planet while you’re supporting local producers.
Love your leftovers
What about those leftover bits and bobs in your fridge that you don’t know what do with? This Food Waste Action Week, we challenge you to put your culinary skills to the test and get creative using your leftovers! If you’re in need of inspiration, the More Taste & Less Waste cookbook has over 80 clever recipes to shake up your weekly menu while minimising waste.
Batch cooking and freezing is also a fantastic way to make sure you’re using up all your produce – chop veg into big pots of stews and bolognaises and freeze for a rainy day.