Festive period sees 7m tonnes of food thrown away

Posted by Jasmin Stopford in Personal Finance on 20 December 2016 - Jasmin is a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile

57% of those aged 25-34 admit to worrying about preparing Christmas dinner, as they fear either burning or undercooking it.

Research from Sainsbury’s shows that UK households end up binning the food entirely, as they are unsure of how to prepare and cook festive foods such as turkey and Brussel sprouts.

Paul Crewe, head of sustainability, engineering, energy and environment at Sainsbury’s says, “Food plays a huge part in making the perfect Christmas, but for many of us, due to a lack of kitchen confidence, it’s not just the turkey that’ll end up being completely stuffed. Over a third of us will face a festive food fiasco and, whether you’ve spoiled the sprouts or toasted turkey, it’ll be both food and money in the bin.”

Sainsbury’s are currently running a ‘Waste Less, Save More’ scheme which is a £10m programme to help tackle food waste. It is hoped that during its pilot year, the households in the 35,000 resident town involved, will save £350 a year each by reducing their levels of food waste.

In the UK, it is estimated that 2m turkeys, 5m Christmas puddings and 74m mince pies are thrown away every Christmas. 1 in 10 admitted to binning the entire turkey as a result of a mishap and Brussel sprouts and roast potatoes were commonly thrown away because they were not cooked properly.

Within the ‘Waste Less, Save More’ scheme, families will be taught new cookery skills, confidence in how to cook from scratch and how to adjust fridge thermometers to help produce last longer.

Crewe concludes, “By working with local communities to improve cookery skills, we’re hoping we’ve found a healthy and tasty way to slash food waste. As with all elements of ‘waste less, save more’ we’ll be completely transparent about the results, meaning this trial could pave the way for other local councils to initiate similar projects.”

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