What is food waste?
Food waste is any food that is not eaten and is instead thrown away. This might be because it has gone past its sell by date, it doesn’t look normal so isn’t sold in the supermarket or due to cooking too much and throwing some away.
WOW fact: The average family of 4 wastes up to £700 of good food every year!
Here in Blackburn with Darwen, almost half of the ‘rubbish’ in our burgundy bins is food. A lot of that is fresh fruit and veg, bread, dairy products, rice and pasta that could have been used.
Watch this video on why we shouldn’t throw away food:
So, what can you do to become a food saving hero?
- How can you stop food waste at home?
Some simple suggestions are:
- Making sure you eat everything on your plate
- Planning meals throughout the week to make sure you use all the ingredients up in your cupboards
- Making sure your fridge is at the right temperature (did you know it should be under 5 degrees!)
- I have leftover ingredients, what can I do with them?
Think about what else you could use the ingredients for.
If you’re stuck for ideas, why not check out Love Food Hate Waste leftover recipes ideas: https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/compleating
- What does the use by date mean on food packaging?
‘Use by’ refers to safety: you must not eat food past the ‘use by’ date. You cannot always smell the bacteria that causes food to spoil, so after the ‘use by’ date, the food may appear perfectly fine to eat, but could still lead to food poisoning.
Let’s be absolutely clear: you should NOT eat food after the ‘use by’ date – even if it looks and smells OK.
Top tip: you can freeze food right up to and including the ‘use by’ date. If you’re not sure you will eat it in time, freeze it for another day!
- What does the display until/sell by mean on food packaging?
These dates are for the shops – not us at home. You don’t need to worry about these.
Some products, such as uncut fruit and vegetables and wine, for example, aren’t required to have a date label, and there are specific regulations referring to hen’s eggs, which require the use of a Best Before date.
- Educational resources