Raising Awareness Of Food Waste and Food Poverty
Every year we start the first full week in January with our £10 food challenge. Yep – £10 per week on food. There is only 2 of us and a cat so we have a good head start, if you are a larger family maybe you could try £20 per week, if there are 4 of you or if that id a challenge too far £10 per head. It’s not about getting it perfect, it’s about raising awareness of food waste, looking at what we buy, looking at what we eat and looking and what we are storing in our food cupboards that we are simply not eating.
Let’s start from the top –
Food waste and food poverty in this country are on the rise. Ironically both at the same time. How have we got people not eating and then have people literally throwing it away. It’s senseless but that’s our country for you. A first world country run by over privileged people that can not see the wood for the trees most of the time. Not that there’s anything wrong with privilege but know how to use it, know how your good fortune can benefit others not cripple them.
Some facts about food waste
- The UK produces the highest amount of food waste in Europe
- The UK produces an estimated 14 million tonnes of food waste each year.
- UK households binned £13.5 billion worth of edible food in 2015
- The hospitality industry wastes an estimated £2.5 billion a year in food waste
With all this unwanted food literally just been left to go off or added to a landfill why on earth do we have people in this country literally begging for food. There is more than enough food to feed everyone and some.
Many companies now do donate their surplus food to charities, it is improving but there is still so much wasted. Waste is natural in the food growing process but when it is just getting left on a shelf because we are over producing that doesn’t seem quite as natural. There is just simply too much food being created
Apart from lockdown when everyone went slightly bonkers – do you ever see empty shelves towards the end of the trading day? Nope – because they get restocked constantly with more food.
Food waste and food poverty seem to offer each other a solution. It’s not one that is working as well as it should but it’s there. There is enough for everyone.
How does this tie in with our £10 food challenge?
This started off one January because we began to realise just how much food was left over from Christmas. There were a few years running where food over the winter months were a bit tight for us, for those that have been on my newsletter a while you will be well versed with our ‘casserole season’ which basically meant casserole of all types until clients started paying us again. We save money in a separate account for Christmas so we always had enough to put on a good spread even if day to day we had been eating casserole for weeks on end.
This is how our £10 food challenge came about, to ensure we didn’t start over spending until we could guarantee payment from clients and to make the most out of what we had. It meant getting a bit creative but we still managed to do this almost plastic free and limiting the amount of processed food we bought. It helps of course to have a local market on our doorstep.
Whilst we have never been in food poverty and needed a food bank we have had to make decisions about the food we buy to stay afloat in the past, this is why the food angle of what we do at No Waste Living means so much to me, everyone is so much closer to food poverty than they realise.
In the meantime…….
Do you want to join in and give it a go?
£10 food challenge tips on getting started.
Go through your cupboards and look at the dates on food.
- Out of date food – it’s a waste but it’s time for it to go
- Nearly out of date – either eat it or donate it. It must have at least a few weeks on if you are going to to donate it. As it may not go out straight away.
- Not out of date but not going to get used – if you find something lurking at the back of your cupboard that you know you won’t eat any time soon. Donate it. Some one else can benefit from it. Storing it in a cupboard serves no one
- In date and food you want – eat it! or plan a meal with it and use the ten pound challenge to buy something to go with it
Let us know how you get on, you can post out on instagram with the hashtag #tenpoundfoodchallenge
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