Don’t waste that food

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Rye Butchers' locally produced meat

Food behaviour and attitudes during the Covid-19 pandemic has seen an increase in meat consumption at home. Meat is one of the most popular comfort foods, and Rye butcher Steve Polley has seen an increase in customers with many buying the prime cuts of local meat which do not need any preparation and, when cooked, are full of flavour. During this stressful time, a good tasty meal is a pleasure customers look forward to.

Food waste dropped substantially in the first lockdown despite people panic buying, but rebounded up by the end of 2020 – though still well below 2019 levels – and it is no exaggeration that food waste is one of the biggest problems facing people in the UK when millions of people are struggling to afford to eat. So reducing waste of edible food and buying more locally produced food will reduce greenhouse gases more than not eating meat.

On average consumers waste 22% of their weekly food shop, so it is important to do pre-shopping planning by checking the freezer, fridge and cupboards – and also checking when food needs to be used up by. Cooking more leftovers and replacing takeaways with food prepared and cooked at home will also help to reduce edible food waste as most of household food that is thrown away each year could be eaten.

There are 20 million slices of bread binned every day, and 18.5 pints of milk per household are wasted in a year. Also 5.8 million potatoes and 1.3 million apples are thrown away each year, while edible meat counts only for 5% of the estimated 7 million tons of household food waste every year.

British farmers, who are leading the way in producing climate-friendly food, have an ambition to do even more, working towards food production by 2040 with a net zero impact on the climate, so that people can continue to enjoy meat and dairy products in the future knowing that they are climate friendly.

Image Credits: Dennis Leeds George .

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