You’ve probably heard that British families are throwing away lots of unused and wasted food each week. In fact according to the waste charity WRAP, UK families throw away 7 million tonnes of food each year. I find this bewildering as I rarely throw out food myself. I admit that keeping on top of household food supplies does require a little time and presence of mind.
Food Waste in the Family
I think we all sometimes lose track of the half-a-jar of ground ginger in the back of the cupboard. What is more of a problem are the things we over-purchase in the weekly shop. You have to keep on top of the dates on your fresh meat of course. When you have children and you buy them a punnet of strawberries as a healthy treat, there’s no knowing when or if they remember to eat them. They might not even find them! Perhaps you buy a baguette and hot cross buns, but the latter are so tempting that they get scoffed by your family first. The baguette is ignored until it’s stale. All these little things add up to quite a lot to remember. If you are the person who does the shopping but you’re out at work when the family is home, then you lose some control.
Food Waste in the Community
You don’t have any direct control over food thrown away by shops and restaurants, but you do have influence. As a consumer you could encourage your local businesses to donate food that has a short shelf life. In my town there is a new pop-up café run by volunteers called “Resurrected Bites”. It’s an environmentally friendly ‘pay-as you-feel’ café using donated food which otherwise would go to landfill. Based at St Mark’s Church, Leeds Road in Harrogate, it will be open every Wednesday and the third Saturday of the month, from 10am until 2pm. It is run by volunteers but it’s not a soup kitchen. It is open to the whole community and by all accounts is serving some truly delicious cuisine. I am looking forward to visiting as soon as possible. Take a look at the launch video.
There is a network of these cafés around the UK coordinated by a charity called The Real Junk Food Project. You can find your nearest café on their website, and they have locations in France and Australia too.
A Pledge on Food Waste
As a family blogger I do sometimes share recipes, and they include some of my most popular posts. Why not try this recipe for leftovers – American Style Cornbread. I’ve had some amazing feedback from readers of this seasonal blog post too – Five Ways with Leftover Christmas Mincemeat.
I am joining with other bloggers to make a pledge for my food blog posts called No Waste Within. It is a campaign started within the food-blogging community to cut down on the amount of, and ultimately eliminate, food waste created by the development, cooking, styling and photographing of recipes. You can read more here. This is the pledge to which I am signing up:
“I promise that no food waste was created by the development, cooking, styling and photographing of this recipe and that, where it wasn’t possible for me to enjoy it myself, I have redistributed, re-purposed, retained or recycled the food.”
If you have any ideas for leftovers or tips for reducing or preventing food waste, please do share them in the comments.
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