Freeze it, cook it or gift it this summer


A few weeks ago I wrote about the Food Standards Agency’s initiative to increase consumer understanding of how food waste can be slashed by encouraging consumers to make better and more use of their freezers.

As schools break up for the summer holidays, the need to educate consumers around the benefits of their freezers has been further highlighted by new research from Unilever and Hubbub.

The duo have joined forces, with the support of WRAP, to launch the Joint Ambition for a Zero Food Waste Britain, and its first mission is to cut the amount of food wasted by Brits before they embark on their annual getaways. The move comes after figures revealed that in the UK, half a billion pounds’ worth of perfectly edible food gets thrown away when people head off on holiday – that’s £12 million worth of food ending up in the bin in the first week of the summer holiday alone.

59 per cent of people admit to binning food before going away, with 45 per cent blaming it on not knowing what they can and cannot freeze. The most wasted foods are:

  • Milk – 51 per cent admit to throwing this away
  • Salad – 44 per cent
  • Fruit – 40 per cent
  • Yogurt – 36 per cent
  • Bread – 34 per cent.

In a bid to slash the waste, the pair are promoting three simple alternatives to binning surplus food before a getaway: freezing it; cooking it to either take on the road or freeze for a homecoming meal; and/or gifting it to friends/family/neighbours – 81 per cent of those questioned say they are happy to receive food from a neighbour, but sadly just 13 per cent already do this.

Although many people sensibly cut down on the amount of food they buy in the run up to a holiday, there is still an astonishing amount of food being wasted, so the initiative is a welcome one.

The odd bit of surplus milk in my home is taken care of by my family, who also kindly take care of my pets in my absence!

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