Half the UK’s food is imported from overseas – and worsening climate events, such as extreme heat, wildfire, and flooding, threaten our food security.
International Food Waste and Loss day highlights the importance of cutting food waste and loss at an international scale. Nearly 30% of the world’s agricultural land is currently occupied by food that is ultimately never consumed, and waste occurs at all stages of food production, from farm, to transit, to the home. Sustainable food production, on a global scale is a priority for the United Nations, with a specific target of halving per-capita global food waste at retail and consumer level.
Thinking closer to home then – what can we do about this, and how much food do we waste? The scale of the problem is huge, it is estimated that the average household could save £500 a year. – Being aware of the food you actually waste is a good first step; keeping a quick list of everything you throw away will help with that. Eating all the food we buy is the simplest way to reduce food waste.
Here in Cumbria we have a diverse range of projects which support the reduction of food waste and work to support people in growing and eating their own produce.
Sharon Watson – who has been offering cookery classes using seasonal, local and organic food encourages people to not only explore where their food comes from, but also to make use of local farmers and organic produce.
- Don’t shop until you need to.
Search your cupboards, fridge and freezer for ingredients that need using up and make today’s meals from those. Need some inspiration? There’s masses of help online. Try https://www.jamieoliver.com/features/recipes-to-reduce-food-waste/ and https://realfood.tesco.com/what-can-i-make-with.html
- Plan ahead – a bit of forethought can make your meal planning easier, and save you money as well as reducing waste – make a list and (mostly) stick to it!
Store your foods properly (this is useful for that)– especially with fresh produce.
And of course, growing locally and receiving produce from local suppliers is easier than ever thanks to projects such as Home Grown Here – a grower-owned co-op which brings together local producers in one market place.
And if you are interested in taking this further WRAP’s Guardians of Grub FREE course may be for you.