Love Food and the Environment
Not only could you save up to £50 a month by making the most of all the food you buy but you can also do even more to help the environment. 61% of us, as shoppers, are concerned about the environmental impact of our food and groceries.
Producing, distributing, storing and cooking food uses energy, fuel and water. Each of these emits greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.
Think of a pack of cheese. The resources that go into raising the cows, processing the milk, transporting the cheese, refrigeration, the fuel we use to drive to the shop to buy it – all this to put it in the bin at the end of the week. In fact in the UK we throw away the equivalent of more than three million slices of cheese a day!
Food is a valuable resource and yet in the UK about 15 million tonnes of food is thrown away every year. Almost 50% of this comes from our homes. If we stopped throwing this good food away it would save the equivalent of at least 17 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, the same as taking 1 in every 5 cars off our roads.
We all have a part to play in reducing the amount of food and drink we throw away – from farm to fork. You can get some great tips from and Lovefoodhatewaste.com and find more examples of what others are doing – but here are a few to get you started!
They used their loaf!
- Lots of slices of bread are thrown away everyday, in a year 540,000 tonnes of bread worth £640,000,000 is put in the bin. It’s not always easy to get through a whole loaf before it goes stale or mouldy which is why it often wasted. We’ve been able to buy small loaves for a number of years but in 2008 Warburton’s launched a range of 600g loaves (a full size loaf is 800g) with full size slices. Kingsmill launched the “Little Big Loaf” in 2009. You could still buy a full size loaf and freeze it though, bread can be toasted from frozen.
A storage guide
- The Co-operative and Morrisons now provide storage advice on their loose produce bags, reminding us that keeping most fruit and veg in the fridge helps it stay fresher for longer. Don’t put bananas in the fridge though as they’ll go brown more quickly.
- M&S and Sainsbury’s have updated their guidance on when you can freeze their products, making it clearer that you can freeze suitable foods any time before the use-by date, not just on the day of purchase.
- Heinz launched their “Fridge Pack” for baked beans in 2010, it can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days after opening, giving us longer to eat them. There’s now a spaghetti pack too. Top tip – you can freeze baked beans if you know you won’t be able to eat them in time – freeze within two days of opening and then defrost in the microwave and heat till piping hot.
A bit of closure for packaging
- Birds Eye has introduced re-closable packs for both frozen peas and fish-fingers, to help us reduce waste. Food gets damaged when it’s exposed to the air in the fridge and freezer, this can be avoided by sealing food well before storing it.