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Food Waste Action Week: 1-7 March

Food waste is one of the biggest contributors to climate change with 4.5 billion tonnes of food wasted every year in UK households.

Below are some tips for you to reduce how much edible food you are throwing away:

  1. Check the date: Use by dates refer to safety, do not eat products after this date. However, best before dates relate to quality, so products are still edible after this date.
  2. Compleating: This term refers to the act of eating all edible parts of a product eg vegetable skins and crusts.
  3. Check your fridge temperature: Most UK fridges are kept at 7 degrees Celsius but food actually lasts longer in temperatures under 5 degrees Celsius so make sure to adjust accordingly.
  4. Portion size: Try to avoid making more food than you need, unless you plan on having the leftovers the next day. As a guide – one mug of rice can feed four adults.
  5. Take a photo: Before you go food shopping, take a photo of your fridge and cupboards as this will help you to avoid buying products you already have.
  6. Make sure you are storing your food correctly: Love Food Hate Waste has an excellent guide to help you store food to make it last longer.
  7. Freeze your food: You can freeze products up to their use by date, which can be very helpful if you have a last minute change of plans and end up with surplus food for the week.
  8. Use ice cube trays: You can freeze milk or freeze herbs in oil to avoid waste.
  9. Defrost slice by slice: Freeze your loaves of bread and defrost slices in the toaster when you need them.
  10. Label your food: Before freezing food, make sure you label the containers to avoid defrosting the wrong thing.

Nicholas Hunt, Environmental Manager, added “Loughborough University is supporting Food Waste Action Week as we traditionally provide around 1 million student meals per year on campus and accommodate 6,500 students in halls, both of which contribute to the food waste challenge. We operate food waste segregation which allows us to monitor and measure this across many of our operations and are conscious of the impact food waste has on the environment.”

Get involved in Food Waste Action Week here.

You can also read Sustainably Speaking’s guest blog post by Eleanor Morris from WRAP, a global non-government organisation leading on Food Waste Action Week.