Love Food Hate Waste website - lots of tips on how to reduce your food waste & save you money.
Every household in Mid Sussex produces around 1 tonne of waste every year. That's the equivalent to the weight of your average family car.
In the UK we throw away 6.7 million tonnes of food each year, this equates to about a third of the food we buy. Most of this ends up in landfill sites, which contributes to climate change because it emits methane, a very powerful greenhouse gas. The environmental implications of this waste are huge but there are financial ones are too - throwing away food that we could have used is costing us money. If we stopped wasting food which could have been eaten, it would have the same impact on carbon emissions as taking 1 in 5 cars off UK roads.
Some of the food waste is made up of things like peelings, cores and bones, but the majority is, or once was, perfectly good food. Once in your general waste bin, food waste will start to rot and may cause unpleasant odours. Reducing this waste will not only save you money and slim you bin but also make your landfill waste less offensive.
Why does so much food that could have been eaten get thrown away?
The main reasons for throwing away food are:
- Cooking or preparing too much - for example cooking too much rice or pasta and it gets left in the saucepan or on the plate.
- Not using food in time - for example having to throw out fruit & vegetables because they've gone off in the fruit bowl or in the fridge, or not eating food before it goes past its use-by date.
Understanding Date Labels on your Food
Knowing what the labels on your food mean can help us to understand when we need to eat our food by, and help us to plan our shopping so our food doesn't end up in the kitchen bin!
This is the key date in terms of safety - never eat products after this date and observe storage instructions. Check if the food can be frozen if you need to eat it at a later date. 'Use by' dates are usually found on chilled products such as cooked meats, soft cheeses and dairy-based desserts.
'Best before' dates are usually on longer shelf life foods such as frozen, tinned or dried goods and refer to quality rather than safety. So, with these things, it's best to use your judgement. It should be safe to eat food after the 'best before' date, but food may no longer be at its best. One exception is eggs - never eat eggs after the 'best before' date.