We’re now in Food Waste Action Week (March 1-7), which aims to spread the message how wasting food is one of the biggest contributing factors to climate change.
We’re fully supportive of this in Wrexham, and want to play our part in this effort cut down on wasted food. At Wrexham Council, we have our own Decarbonisation Action Plan and we’re looking to be a carbon neutral organisation by 2030.
Cllr David A Bithell, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Many things, including water, land, energy, time, and transportation are needed to produce our food, so it’s really important that we don’t unnecessarily waste it. Some of the figures are staggering around food waste…4.5 million tonnes of edible food gets wasted every year in the UK, which is enough to make 10 million meals.
“Every household will inevitably have some waste – through things like peelings and food bones, and we need to make sure that these get recycled. Lots of us are now recycling our food waste in Wrexham, but we know we can do better.
“Try to only buy what you need from the supermarket and make sure any leftovers you do have get recycled. Thanks to everyone who recycles their food waste and to those who don’t, please get involved and play your part.”
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This year, for Food Waste Action Week, Love Food Hate Waste have come up with 10 things you can try to stop wasted food feeding climate change:
1. It’s a date! ‘Use by’ is about safety – food should not be eaten after this date (even if it looks/smells fine). ‘Best before’ is about quality – although food won’t be at top quality after this date, it will still be safe to eat for some time.
2. Compleat. Always binning crusts and broccoli stems? Over two-thirds of the food we waste is perfectly edible, so using every edible bit of your food (‘compleating’) is essential. Try leaving the skin on when you make mashed potato – this will save you time as well!
3. Chill the fridge out. The average fridge temperature in UK homes is nearly 7°C, but foods will last longer if they are kept at under 5°C.
4. Perfect portions. Hands up who has ever found themselves with far too much rice or pasta? It’s easy to do, but there are simple ways to cook the perfect amount. For example, a mug filled with dry rice will cook enough for four adults.
5. Snap a shelfie. If you’re not a fan of shopping lists, take a picture of your fridge/cupboard shelves before you head to the shops instead. This will stop you from buying something you’ve already got at home.
6. Savvy storage. Most fruit and veg will stay fresher for longer in the fridge. The key exceptions are bananas and pineapple (keep these on the counter), and onions and potatoes (which should be kept in a cool, dark, dry place – like a cupboard!).
7. Freeze up to the ‘use by’ date. All foods with a ‘use by’ date, including meat, can be frozen right up to this date. This is especially helpful if your plans change at the last minute – before you order an emergency takeaway, check your fridge for anything that can be frozen for another day.
8. Ice-cube tray – the freezer hero. Too much milk, not enough time? Pour your remaining milk into ice-cube trays and freeze – this is the perfect amount for a brew. You can use ice-cube trays to freeze fresh herbs, too. Chop them up, pop them in the tray, and top up with oil, and then you have easy portions to add to the pan next time you’re cooking.
9. Use your loaf. Bread is another food that freezes beautifully. Put your sliced loaf in the freezer, and then you can pick out a slice at a time and toast straight from frozen. Extra tip: tap the loaf on the counter before you freeze it to stop the slices sticking together.
10. Unidentified Frozen Objects. Before you freeze your leftovers, label the bag/container telling you what’s inside and when you froze it.
You can visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for delicious recipes and even more suggestions for making the most of your food.
What can go in my food caddy?
For a list of things that can be recycled in your food caddy, take a look at this blog article…
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