Cooking is one of Britain’s favourite pastimes – we share pictures online, make food for our friends and family and consume cooking content at an astronomical rate. However, the UK still throws away an average £494 million worth of food each week, reveals research from recipe box company Gousto.
In an era where it seems like every possible step is taken to be environmentally and financially friendly, just under a third (31%) of Brits are concerned by the amount of food they waste. Half of Brits (50%) who are concerned about food waste say it’s because of the financial impacts, a further 40% say because of the environmental knock on effects and 45% say they’re concerned because of the amount of people going hungry.
Timo Boldt, CEO and Founder of Gousto says; “Our new research shows that food waste continues to be a massive problem - as a purpose driven company we want to raise awareness of the issue and help families in the UK to make more sustainable food choices.
“Gousto is built for zero food waste. Delivering precise ingredients means that we only give customers what they need to create a delicious meal - nothing more, nothing less. This means minimal food waste in our factory and no wasted ingredients for our customers.”
Both in the aisle (29%) and on the plate (33%), Brits struggle to estimate how much food they’ll need. Roughly half (51%) have admitted that they don’t cook the recommended portion sizes, particularly worse with women (57%) than men (42%), resulting in an abundance of food which finds itself simply thrown away.
Meanwhile, a lack of preparation and organisation is another reason for great wastage. One in five (19%) throw food away due to not properly planning their meals while just over a third (34%) say they do a weekly shop and forget what they’ve bought.
Professor Margaret Bates, Professor of Sustainable Wastes Management, says; “I think the research by Gousto tells us we have a disconnect with our food. Food is considered cheap and therefore not valued adequately considering the resources involved in the production. Food marketing is great so we “get our heads turned” and buy stuff we don’t need.”
Getting behind Stop Food Waste Day, recipe box company Gousto is looking to raise awareness of the effects of food wastage and educate the nation on how best to address this issue.
Professor Margaret Bates gives her top tips in reducing food waste –
- Check dates – use before is the only one that counts – the rest are marketing or irrelevant.
- Store food correctly - improper storage leads to a massive amount of food waste.
- Freeze or keep leftover portions and save for another meal.
- Make a list before you go food shopping or try a recipe box which can provide exactly what you need - no risk of in-store temptations making you buy stuff you don’t need.
- People often remove the skins of fruits, veggies and chicken when preparing meals - often these are edible with tons of nutrients.