Recent statistics show that total food waste has reduced by 14% per person between 2007 and 2015, but some might say that there is still a way to go… To highlight the importance of the issue, the government recently appointed a Food Surplus and Waste Champion, Ben Elliot, whose mission is to help promote awareness around the issue of food waste in the UK, and as part of the Waste Strategy, annual reporting of waste will be produced going forward to increase transparency on the topic.
New research has revealed that Brits still throw away over 8% of their weekly food shop – from bread and other baked goods, to fruit, vegetables, and milk. The study, commissioned by First Mile, analysed the issue of food waste across a range of topics, including food shopping, best-before dates and portion control. The research found that a staggering 64% of Brits always have some element of weekly food wastage, which, on average, costs households an estimated £380 a year. The data also revealed that 6 in 10 adhere to best-before dates in some respect, but that 18% take all best-before dates as gospel, regardless of the actual quality or appearance of the item. This was most pertinent for dairy items (25%).
The team at First Mile collaborated with Bridget Lawless, a long-time volunteer at Be-Enriched.com community canteens in South London, and Tim Bouget from ODE | true food to create some creative recipes that can help everyone reduce their food waste… here’s our 3 favourites:
Bananas on the turn – submitted by Bridget Lawless:
“Peel the bananas when good and freeze in chunks to process into 1 ingredient ice-cream, or peel and freeze whole and eat like a lolly. Overripe bananas are great for smoothies, sliced into custard or mashed into muesli… Brown is fine to eat!”.
Chickpea and vegetable broth in spicy turmeric and tomato sauce, submitted by Tim Bouget:
“One of my favourite hearty “vegan” recipes that we use at cafe ODE. At home, it can be made simple and most importantly adapted to use almost any spice or vegetables you might have left over. Are you always left with some tinned baked beans or tomatoes? If so, this recipe is for you! Tinned chickpeas can also be used and of course the juice (aquafaba) can create a delicious egg free mayonnaise – just spice it up with a little turmeric or curry powder”
Utilising off-cuts from vegetables – submitted by Bridget Lawless:
“Vegetable off-cuts (such as the stem-end of carrots, stalks of kale, cabbage, cauliflower, onion ends, and general trimmings) can be used to make great stock! Get all your off-cuts together (go easy on the parsnips though, as their flavour tend to take over) and simmer in 2 litres of water until reduced by a third. Strain and store in a bottle (or old milk container) for a few days or freeze for later use”.