July 23, 2008

Tons of Groceries End Up in the Rubbish Bin

A STAGGERING 587,000 tons of food waste is thrown out by Scottish households every year, which equates to a third of all the food we buy.

Each year, Scots pay for - but do not eat - pounds 889million of food.

That's equivalent to about pounds 410 worth of food being wasted per household every year, according to statistics released by Waste Aware Scotland to coincide with their recent Love Food Hate Waste campaign.

The main reason why we throw out perfectly edible food is because we cook/prepare too much.

A lot of food - most commonly fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products - is discarded because it's past its use-by date.

What's also worrying about this food wastage is that it's sent to landfill sites, where it emits harmful greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

Ruth Campbell, campaigns officer at Waste Aware Scotland, said: "More than half the food we throw out could be eaten.

"Our campaign is to raise awareness of the cost and environmental impact of wasting food.

"I would encourage everyone to visit our website for hints and tips.

"A number of top Scottish chefs and food writers, such as Nick Nairn, Martin Wishart and Nell Nelson, have provided simple recipes made from leftovers."


Here are some ways we can save food, as recommended by the Love Food Hate Waste campaign:

Planning and preparation: Think about what meals you are going to have during the week ahead and check your cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what food you really need before you go shopping.

Storing food: Know your food labels. "Use-by" dates appear on foods that can go off quickly, such as fish, meat and eggs. "Best before" dates tend to be about quality rather than safety and are found on items that last longer, such as frozen, dried ortinned foods.

Rotate food: The food that needs to be used first should be at the front of your fridge, freezer or cupboard.

Recipes: Use leftovers to create another delicious meal.

Portioning: Buy loose fruit and vegetables so you can get exactly what you need. Look out for half loaves of bread.


Reduce your refuse: Keep an eye on what you are throwing out. If you choose to buy something cheap because it is nearing its best before date, make sure you don't end up throwing it out and wasting money. Also, do not buy more of a product than you willuse. Often tempting buy-one-get-one-free offers encourage us to buy more than we need, but if you end up throwing the free item out, you have not saved any money after all.

Feed your family for a fiver: Sainsbury's have teamed up with chef Jamie Oliver, right, to try to encourage cash-strapped families to prepare food on a budget. "Feed your family for a fiver" offers nutritious recipe ideas for families of four. Trypreparing some of these.

For more handy hints and recipes to make the most of your food, visit www.wasteawarelovefood.org.uk

(c) 2008 Daily Record; Glasgow (UK). Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.