The Food Problem
According to research by Love Food Hate Waste:
- Each year in British homes over 7 million tonnes of food is destined for the rubbish pile.
- This is around 50% of the total amount of food thrown away in the UK!
- This food wastage costs the average UK household £470 a year.
I decided to create an informal online survey questioning exactly which foods we are most likely to throw away. It should be noted that the survey respondents were a random sample of friends, family, colleagues and the answers generated from web links, as well as Twitter and Facebook posts.
- To the question: ‘Typically, how often do you have leftovers from meals made at home?‘ less than 3% of respondents answered ‘Never.’
- Of the rest that did have leftovers, around 30% said this was because they tend to overestimate the quantities needed.
- Of those that admitted to frequently having the same foods leftover, a whopping 60% said they are often left with vegetables, 20% with rice, 10% with meats and fish, and 10% with other miscellaneous foodstuffs (bread was one example).
- Worryingly, about 25% of respondents said that fruit is a food they throw away on a weekly basis. If we took fruit destined for the bin from 1 in 4 fridges in the UK every week, that would make a LOT of smoothies!
- A further 33% said that fruit they buy is thrown away fortnightly. So that’s nearly 60% of respondents chucking some of their five a day in the bin every few weeks!
- 49% of the people asked said that bread is another item they throw away regularly – weekly or every few weeks.
- A whopping 72% said they throw away more food than they would like.
Cook Don’t Chuck!
Not only does food waste appear to be a very real problem in our everyday lives, but often the same types of foodstuffs are being thown away time after time again – when they could so easily be re-used. And often, it’s a simple case of people not knowing what to do with their leftovers!
So I ventured out to ask 10 London foodies their top tips for recipes using those leftover ingredients which, from my survey and general research, appear to be most common in our kitchen! Simply hover over which leftover food you want to use up on the image below and voila – easy leftover recipes brought to you by our fellow city folk!
Want more ideas to cleanse your fridge and store cupboard? Visit LoveFoodHateWaste for healthy plans, recipes and information on storage to keep your shopping fresher for longer.