Friday, 13 September 2013

Wasting Less for Future Generations

The Mini Cooking Club is gearing up for Waste Less Live More week 2013, September 16th-23rd. The theme this year is Better Food for All. This is  the Mini Cooking Club’s ethos of improving the nation’s diet through teaching practical cooking skills and nutrition knowledge. Run by Waste Watch in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy, the aim is to transform the way we live so that we – and future generations – can enjoy life without costing the earth. You can read their manifesto on their website. We will be participating in waste-reducing activities during the week to promote the message.

In 2012, the European Parliament adopted a non-legislative resolution that called for action to halve food waste by 2025 and improve access to food by those in need. Waste Less Live More week is a vital campaign because so much of what the world produces ends up as waste. Though food resources have the potential for abundance, living in a privileged society we have evolved to buy more than we need. Reducing our food waste will have much-needed positive effect on the price of food.

The global economy is struggling, with 79 million people in the EU living beneath the poverty line and around 16 million relying on food aid from charitable institutions. Despite this, the UK Institute of Mechanical Engineers claims that half of the world’s food supply – equivalent to 2 billion tonnes – is thrown away each year. According to EU Commission figures, households, supermarkets and restaurants, along with the rest of the food supply chain, are currently wasting up to 50% of edible food. In Britain alone, 7.7 million tonnes of food are wasted and 16% of all food bought never even makes to it to the table.

Free Digital Photos - Stoonn

We here at the Mini Cooking Club think this is a big shame and easily avoided, so that’s why we want to share five tips with you for how to reduce your food waste:

1. Invest in Tupperware so you can store leftover food for reheating later. Supermarkets with a good selection of affordable Tupperware are Morrisons, Asda and Poundland.

2. Cling film your food items – if your food storage is airtight fresh food will last longer. Try to only tear off as much Clingfilm as you need, and if it hasn’t touched any food once you’re done you can reuse it.

3. Avoid 2-for-1 offers which encourage you to buy more than you need. Better yet, shop at the local greengrocer which is much cheaper and supports local business.

4. Instead of going shopping several times a week, try to make the most of the ingredients you already have. For help with this, use websites like Supercook.

5. A lot of food comes with excess packaging. Try not to buy multipacks with a lot of individual wrappers and go for products that are advertised as having reduced packaging. For example, coffee that comes in a recyclable packet rather than a glass jar.

The Mini Cooking Club is looking forward to wasting less with you all next week! Please post this on Twitter using the hashtag #wastelesslivemore and encourage others to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Follow Waste Watch on Twitter and like them on Facebook for regular updates.

By Catherine Heath

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