Food for thought: British families throw out the equivalent of 24 meals every month. Worse, Britain’s food industry is disposing of 4.3 million tons of food every year, and only 2% of edible waste (like tinned tomatoes) is being diverted to charities.
What’s a household to do? The good news is that despite the scale of the problem, solutions abound. Consider the following three
strategies to reduce your household’s food waste footprint.
1. Take a new approach
Popular recipe box delivery services like Marley Spoon send tasty recipes and the exact portions of ingredients required to thousands of households across the UK. Customers receive everything they need to make an easy, delicious dinner at home, with no excess ingredients to sort later. Marley Spoon customer Jenny McCullough says, “I love that I get to try new foods, without committing to large bottles of sauces or new ingredients that I won’t use afterward.”
Tip: Substitute a trip to the supermarket with a recipe box. Services like Marley Spoon are an interesting and sustainable way to limit your household’s food waste.
Tip: Before disposing of food, look at where it could be of use– a local food bank for those unused long-life products (like tinned tomatoes), or a local farm or compost heap for your food scraps.
2. Know what you’re throwing away
Too many Brits dispose perfectly edible fruit and veg because of aesthetic flaws like misshapen forms or minor bruising. As the adage goes, don’t judge a book by its cover. Smoothies, sauces and jams make fine outcomes for surplus or misshapen fruit, and excess veg (including peel and root) can be used to create deeply flavourful stocks and broths.
Tip: Keep a notepad by your rubbish bin, and note what you throw away. Spotting patterns may significantly reduce waste (perhaps it’s time to stop buying the fat-free yoghurt).
3. Ask: Are my eyes bigger than my stomach?
To eat healthy and avoid having to throw away leftovers, focus on measurements when cooking, and consider how much you’ll actually consume. Leftovers are great and some dishes often taste even better after a day in the fridge, but only if you actually eat them!
“One big reason I love recipe box delivery services is they portion my food for me. I always know what I’m eating and how much of it– they even provide the calorie count on the recipe cards,” remarks mum of four Ann Dale.
Tip: Clean those cupboards! What’s the half-open mint sauce doing there? If you’re not going to use it all, get creative and make a dressing or marinade out of it.
Inspiring people to get back into the kitchen, eat well and reduce food waste, Marley Spoon sends recipe boxes to thousands of households all over the world!
• Go to marleyspoon.co.uk to redeem £25 off your first order. Code: SPOON22
[All facts and figures are taken from the 2012 WRAP survey, WRAP is an NGO working closely with the UK and EU governments]