Time to get back to bread and potatoes
Have you ever met anyone who deliberately threw edible food in the bin? Neither have we, but it is a fact that 4.2 million tonnes of food that could have been eaten in our homes is put in bins or food waste recycling collections every year in the UK. In west London a survey only 2 years ago showed that food made up 30% of the content of bin bags.
Before continuing, let me introduce the ‘we’ you’re reading about – we are WLWA’s Waste Minimisation Team and this is us at Brentford Festival . Since April we’ve spoken to over 1,500 people at events. Talking to anyone and everyone about food and other interesting things like re-using, swapping, repairing and recycling. Last year the Team spoke to over 5000 people in west London.
We meet all sorts of people living in different types of homes, with a variety of cultural backgrounds, they have unique eating preferences and there’s only one thing they agree on – food is only thrown away if there is no other choice.
So what food is thrown away?
Luckily, the national Love Food Hate Waste campaign did some research in 2012 and 2013 to find out which foods we as a nation throw in the bin.
The top 10 food items finding a new home in our bins are:
- Bread (all types of bakery products – slices, rolls, pitta, croissants, naan…)
- Complete meals – either made at home or shop bought ones
- Fizzy drinks
- Juices and smoothies
- Poultry – includes chicken and turkey
- Pork products – sausages, chops, bacon etc
- Cake, and finally
- Processed potato products like chips and waffles
Every home is different though, so over the next week we’d like to set you a small challenge – to complete our 7 day food waste diary (1575 downloads) . Don’t feel like you’re doing this alone, the Team will do it too and you can always recruit a friend to help keep you honest! Any food items you throw away from peelings to mouldy bread should all be included.
Finally, before you go we want to introduce you to Spud and Slice. Over the next 4 months we’re going to see just how much food we can save from bins and recycling services in west London.
Our Spud and Slice are coming to a street near you to help remind people about two of the most thrown away foods and the easy ways to keep them edible for a little bit longer so they don’t need to be binned.
Name Spud and Slice
We’ve decided that Spud and Slice can’t go through life nameless, if you’ve got a good idea for a name get in touch – if you use Twitter use #saveaslice or #saveaspud to get our attention.
Next week we’ll be back with the results of our food waste diaries and a few planning ideas to help Spud and Slice avoid the bin forever, if you want to get a few tips ahead starting making a plan.