Food is wasted throughout the entire supply chain. It may get spoiled whilst harvested, stored, packed and transported, which is known as food loss, all of which occur before it is bought by the consumer. There are many factors that cause food loss such as weather and insects which can be out of our control to prevent.
Food waste is anything that has been fit for human consumption but hasn't been eaten. This food may have been left to go off, deeming it unfit for consumption or may be leftovers of ingredients or whole meals. It can also occur when shops purchase more of an item than they can sell which leaves stock to go bad.
There are ways in which we can help reduce our food waste, but first, here are some facts you may find shocking:
- One third of all food produced around the world is lost or wasted
- 100 million pints of milk are tipped down the drain each year in the UK
- 240,000 tonnes of food is wasted by UK supermarkets each year
- The average UK family spends £470 on food that is wasted
So, how can you help to reduce the amount of food you waste?
- Store food properly - this will help food remain fresh and last longer.
- Buy what you need - don't buy reduced-priced because it's cheap if you're not going to be able to eat it in time.
- Assess best before dates - don't by food that is almost out of date if you are not going to eat it by the time it goes off.
- Freeze foods - many foods can be frozen before their best before date to be eaten at a later date, just make sure its safe first!
- Use ingredient waste when you can - got leftover broccoli stalks? Make a soup with them! Leftover meat from your Sunday roast? Have a sandwich! You can find a large number of leftover recipes here.