Going for Gold in the Race against Food Waste
With all the excitement of the summer games upon us, we couldn’t help but want to get involved – in the race against food waste that is! As a nation we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year from our homes. Thinking about our food’s journey and taking a few simple steps to reduce its waste can have a big impact on our ranking in the food waste tally!
Food waste has a truly global impact. Producing the food we eat requires energy and resources and considering the olympic journey our food makes to get from farm to fork, its needs large amounts of both. From production to cooking, chilling, packaging and transporting, food requires natural resources like land, water and fossil fuels.
The food we buy accounts for 23% of our ecological footprint – a measure of our environmental impact on the world and if the food is then wasted, all of those precious resources that went into producing it also get wasted. Not to mention if it then ends up in a landfill site it will rot and produce greenhouse gases. If we didn’t waste food in the UK, it would be the equivalent of taking 1 in 4 cars off the road!
There is also great news in race against food waste: UK homes now throw away less good food and drink than we did in 2007 – down by 21%, but average households can still save up to £700 a year by not wasting any. As we start to realise the true global effect of food waste, it becomes easier to realise the importance of making the most of it.
Whether you’ll be around the BBQ or the TV cheering on Team GB late into the night this week, here are some golden tips from Love Food Hate Waste to help make this summer number one in your food waste reduction race.
Ideas to help you move up the food waste medal table
Resist the temptation to go out and buy everything. You may well have a first-place feast in your cupboards, fridge or freezer already and you can save a fortune by not buying specialist BBQ or party food.
Here are some sneaky ways to re-purpose those bits and pieces that you were not quite sure what to do with:
- Stuff BBQ friendly veg such as beef tomatoes or peppers with that leftover portion of chilli or casserole that has been lurking in the freezer.
- Take tired bananas, make a slit in the skin and pop in some chocolate, wrap in foil and BBQ.
- Over ripe pineapple can have a makeover into a lovely tropical drink
- Meat medley? Marinade meat that has been in the freezer for a while to give it some oomph before it’s BBQed.
- Rack up those sauces! All sort of herbs, spices from the spice rack and store cupboard standards can be used to make your own adventurous sauces or add a personal twist to a shop bought one.
- Much of our fruit and veg – those water and land hungry foods – can be revived if it has got a bit tired. Plunging salad leaves into cold water, putting celery or broccoli in a glass of water in the fridge overnight or stewing, puréeing or blitzing tired fruit into smoothies gives them a new lease of life.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the scale of food waste and the global impact it has. The good news is there are lots of simple steps we can take to drastically reduce it. For more ideas visit our food waste reduction guide. Also be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with tips and tricks for make sure you go for gold this summer in reducing your food waste!