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Food Waste Action Week

Food Waste Action Week is taking place this year from the 7th March to 14th March to raise awareness about how wasting food feeds climate change. Unfortunately, on average UK households waste the equivalent of eight meals a week, which is why the climate change activists of the Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are looking to share local projects and ideas that support families eat better while also lowering food waste.

The NHS “Eatwell Guide” shows how much we should try to eat from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet. Eating a balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health and keep you feeling your best. The Eatwell Guide also contains easy to follow along recipes, healthier snack alternatives and twenty tips on how to eat well for less and avoid wasted food.

There are many NHS backed apps and websites dedicated to offering healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal options as tools and support systems to help you in your goal to eat a balanced diet. Currently on the NHS Better Health page you can download the free, “Easy Meals” app where you can find delicious, easy meals and create your shopping list to avoid buying unnecessarily.

Wasting Food Feeds Climate Change

In the UK a total of 6.6 million tonnes of food waste comes from our homes each year. Of that, 4.5 million tonnes is food that could have been eaten! This fact on an individual basis shows how much money can be wasted on spoiled food that never makes it onto the plate. However, collectively this needless wasting of food has a significant effect on climate change that can easily be tackled.

There is a huge environmental impact caused by food going to waste. Not only the harmful greenhouse gases created by producing food that isn’t used, or even from the food rotting in landfill, it’s also the waste of all the precious resources that it takes to bring that food to your plate – the land, water, energy and hard work. That is why as a CCG we are having a virtual Fair and Fresh Lunch this Friday 11th March, where members will be using what they have in their cupboards to make up a tasty dinner and swap their ideas on how to make the most out of food for longer.

Some tips on tackling food waste (and saving some money!) are listed below, and more are available from the Love Food Hate Waste website.

How can you tackle your food waste?

  1. Community Groceries
  2. Learn what you can and can’t freeze
  3. Super Cook

1. Taking part in community groceries are a fantastic way in reducing food waste within your own home and within your local communities. Community groceries are commonly not for profit organisations, staffed by local volunteers with the aim of reducing food waste. Residents of the local area can choose their shopping from a vast variety of fruits, vegetables, tinned/packaged foods, pastries, dairy products, bottled drinks and even washing up products and pay as little as £4 a month.

If this interests you, choose the most local community grocery to you from the list below to see how to take part and reduce your food waste:

2. You may be surprised to find out foods you never knew you could freeze, attached here is a page put together by which.com that lists items you can safely freeze before they spoil. From eggs to avocados this page will go over foods you never knew you could freeze, how long they can be frozen for and how to safely thraw them. Being aware of extra items that can freeze will help prevent food spoiling and reduce food waste in your household.

3. SuperCook found here is an extremely useful recipe searching website and app that can help withmealtime and snack ideas using what ingredients you have in the cupboards. If ever you find yourself with what you believe is “nothing to cook with”, enter each ingredient you have into SuperCook and watch in amazement as hundreds of recipes will be found. Furthermore, SuperCook can work perfectly if you have food close to expiration date that you would like to use. Websites such as SuperCook can be very useful in helping reduce food waste and come up with additional healthy meal ideas.