Recent research has uncovered that Britons are the worst offenders in Europe for wasting food. The report assessing wastage ranging from supermarkets right through to restaurants and hotels found that the greatest bulk of food to be wasted takes place in the home.
A staggering 41% of fruit bought is thrown away with almost a quarter of meat and fish purchased hitting the bins.
Reasons behind such high figures include supermarket promotions leading to excess purchasing of food, confusion over labelling, and people lacking a basic set of cooking skills.
As food poverty in the UK rises – with 1 in 6 parents often going without food themselves to afford to feed their families and half of independent food banks struggling to meet the increasing demand – such high levels of food waste seems so senseless.
According to the UN if the food currently being wasted around the world was to reduce by just 25% – there would be enough food to feed those malnourished.
Supermarkets are making progress to help tackle waste with large retailers agreeing to tackle food waste through redistribution to charities. A partnership formed between Community Shop – the first social supermarket – and the charity Food Cycle aims to help to prevent food waste whilst providing social benefits to deprived areas has been launched this month.
This will see leading retailers and supermarkets supplying surplus food to FoodCycle hubs providing community shop members with reduced meals and also offering volunteers the opportunity to increase their skill-set by developing practical cooking skills.
Initiatives such as this, all take us one step closer in working towards reducing our food waste. Everyone plays an integral role in reducing food waste – next time you’re at the supermarket – think smart!