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Wasting food = Wasting money
On average, out of every six bags of food purchased in the UK, one bag of food ends up being wasted (Source: WRAP). The money spent on that sixth bag of food is wasted too.
In fact, UK households waste around 12% of the total amount of money they spend on food and drink each year by unnecessarily wasting food and drink. The bulk of this waste happens in our homes, and collectively it costs UK consumers an estimated £14 billion each year (source: WRAP)
Wasting less and making the most of the food available to us means that we need to buy less of it, which saves money. The average UK family could save over £700 per year on their grocery bills simply by reducing food waste at home (Source: WRAP)
The savings don’t stop there. By making sure we’re not shopping for, preparing and cooking more food than we need, it’s possible to save additional money on energy bills as well as saving time and effort.
Wasting food is bad for the environment
Wasting food results in the release of unnecessary climate changing greenhouse gas emissions. Taking action to reduce food waste at home is one of the most effective things you can do to help tackle climate change and live more sustainably (see: Project Drawdown for more information).
If we ate more of the food we currently waste, it could have a transformational impact. We wouldn’t need to produce as much food, so carbon emissions from agriculture would reduce. There would be less pressure to destroy natural habitats in the pursuit of creating more agricultural land, so there would be more space for nature. There would be less pressure on limited fresh water reserves too, meaning that we in the UK have greater food security, and people across the globe are less at risk of the impacts of severe drought, malnutrition and high inflation on food prices (Source: United Nations).
Taking action to reduce food waste at home
Love Food Hate Waste is an international campaign led by the Charity WRAP. It provides simple methods to help everyday people reduce food waste at home.
Whether you waste a lot of food or very little, Love Food Hate Waste has something to help everyone. We’ve put together a simple guide to food waste prevention basics which you can access through the links below:
- Plan your meals and use a shopping list – a meal plan used in combination with a shopping list is key to making sure you buy only what you need, and to using everything that you buy.
- Get to know your dates -Foods are safe to eat after the ‘best before’ date, but may no longer be at their tastiest. Fresh items must be eaten before the ‘use by date’ to avoid health risks.
- Perfect portions and savvy servings– Cooking and serving too much food means that you are more likely to waste it. It also costs extra in gas / electricity to do so.
- Savour your surplus – Even the best laid plans go wrong sometimes, leaving you with more food than you can eat. Knowing your options for dealing with unexpected surplus food is key to making sure it doesn’t go to waste.
You can also:
- Visit the Love food Hate Waste website and find out more
- Watch Leicestershire County Council’s ‘How you can do your bit to reduce food waste today’ video
- Find out more about food waste prevention events in Leicestershire
- Seek advice with a specific food waste issue from an expert (via facebook)
- Share surplus food via Olio
- Find out about The Community Fridge network
- Read about action to reduce food waste across the food supply chain via Courtauld 2030
- Become an Environment Action Volunteer
- Take advantage of reduced price food with the Yellow Sticker Cookbook
Did you know?
Research shows that most people don't realise how expensive wasting food really is.