Don’t Let it Fall to Waste!

photograph: Jonathan Hordle/PA

£700 wasting away…

How many of us have ignored the yellow-topped broccoli we catch glimpses of each time we’re searching for something ‘sweeter’ in the fridge? Have your potatoes sprouted roots so long they become a tripping hazard? We’re all guilty of chucking out less than perfect food to make room for the new supermarket shop.

But how would you spend £700? On a new handbag? An all-inclusive holiday? How about on food to throw straight in the bin? If you’re part of the average family in the UK you probably do spend around £700 on food that you eventually throw away over a year, contributing to the 4.5 million tonnes of food the UK wastes each annually.

Whilst total food waste in the UK has fallen by 7% per person since 2017, we still have a long way to go before we can successfully reach the UN international target to halve food waste as a nation by 2030. A seemingly ambitious target considering the retail and restaurant sector have seen an increase in usable food wastage of 6% and 7% respectively since 2017.

When nearly a billion people around the world go hungry every day it is perhaps the greatest sign of our privilege to have food to waste.

Several pioneering companies have worked to address the surplus food on the market, such as Oddbox, who ‘rescue’ peculiar-looking fruit and vegetables directly from farmers and send boxes of fresh veg directly to front doors (overnight to minimise transport emissions).  Too Good To Go have had success with their free app which allows you to purchase unsold food from top eateries at the end of service, to prevent it from being thrown away.

Whilst some supermarkets are working at avoiding surplus food wastage (think Morrison’s ‘Wonky’ range and Waitrose’s ‘Less Than Perfect’ range) consumers need to show support for these alternative fruit and veg options – cheaper, but often no less distinguishable than their pedigree relations.

Tips to improve your food waste rate

  • – Buy single items of fruit and veg instead of bags, a typical ‘2 per recipe’ is usually standard for a recipe that feeds 4
  • – Plan your meals for the week, and take any leftovers for lunch the next day
  • – Expand your recipe repertoire! Love Food, Hate Waste has a handy search tool to create recipes around your odd leftover.