You probably don’t think twice about chucking the odd bread crust in the bin… and why would you? After all, it’s just a bit of bread. But it seems that there are lots of us here in the UK who bin bread without a second thought, so much so that 254 million crusts are chucked away each and every year.
This is according to research from the North London Waste Authority (NLWA), revealing that just under 13 million loaves are binned in crusts alone, the equivalent of more than £13 million!
“What particularly surprised me with our research is that one in ten under-35s say the problem of food waste is so huge they don’t believe anything they do will make a difference.
“We want to show that small changes can have a big impact and that’s one reason we’ve launched our Save a Crust campaign. Making brand new dishes and treats from a product you simply would have thrown away otherwise is a brilliant way for households to reduce their food waste and save some money – whilst brushing up on their baking skills,” chair of the NLWA councillor Clyde Loakes said.
Food waste is a huge problem in this country, with the typical household chucking £810 worth of food each year, with bread in the top two most wasted items.
Further research from WRAP and estimates from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations shows that around one-third of all food produced around the world is either lost or wasted.
People can do their bit by shopping realistically and making sure that they don’t buy too much food. You might have to go to the shops more often but it should make a difference to how much goes in the bin. Saving leftovers is also advisable and it can also prove to be healthier, since you’ll have delicious food for your lunch at work and you won’t have to buy expensive sandwiches that may be processed and high in the likes of saturated fat and salt.
Keeping your store cupboards and fridge well organised is advisable, so that you know what’s in there and so that items don’t go off before you have a chance to eat them. It’s very common for people to forget what they’ve purchased and when they do eventually remember, it’s too late and the food has gone bad. But being able to see at a glance what you have in the cupboards can really help crack down on this.
It’s also worth remembering that sell-by and use-by dates are actually just guidelines and they serve to identify food quality, rather than food safety, so don’t just bin something because the packet says it’s gone bad. Use your initiative and experience in the kitchen to make your mind up for yourself.
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