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NOW CLOSED Share your views on food waste for CarrieMumsnet and Unilever UK and you could win £100 cash

(236 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 23-Oct-12 09:52:53

CarrieMumsnet is talking about the issue of food waste at an event hosted by Unilever UK soon and she'd love to get your views on the topic.

Here's what Unilever UK says about food waste:
"At Unilever, thinking sustainably is at the heart of everything we do. Now we're working hard with WRAP (Waste and Resource Action Programme) and other organisations across the UK to help people to reduce the amount of food they dispose of. After all, throwing away food wastes money and it's bad for the environment too.
"According to recent research we've commissioned with the Fabian Society, the most trusted source of information about reducing food waste is our friends and family. People listed food going off too quickly, throwing away leftovers and cooking too much food in the first place as the key reasons why they waste food. We'd love to get your thoughts."

On 1st November, our Mumsnet co-founder, Carrie Longton, is going to be joining a number of influencers and experts in the world of sustainability to speak at a morning of debate and insight on the subject of food waste, hosted by Unilever UK.
Here are some questions to get you started - all views welcome:

* Do you throw away much food at home? Where does the food waste go? Do you have a kitchen caddy and compost bin?
* Does your local council offer a food waste collection service?
* What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away?
* Of food you throw away, is it mainly cooked or uncooked food?
* If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum?
* How do you or how do you think you could make the most of the food that would otherwise be put in the bin?
* Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food?
* Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food?
* Did you know that tea bags can be put into your local council food waste collection (if you have one) or composted at home?

Everyone who adds their comments to this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will receive £100 cash.

Thanks and good luck,

MNHQ

Greenantobe Fri 26-Oct-12 13:32:17

* Do you throw away much food at home? Where does the food waste go? Do you have a kitchen caddy and compost bin?

We don't throw away much at all - if I have cooked too much, or the dcs are refusing to eat my culinary creation, I find that the dogs are very willing recipients, which still saves me money on dog food as they then eat less of that!

* Does your local council offer a food waste collection service?

No

* What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away?

We don't really, unless some salad has gone unnoticed at the bottom of the fridge and has turned into green sludge - this would normally go on the garden though unless it was the middle of the winter!

* Of food you throw away, is it mainly cooked or uncooked food?

Mostly uncooked - the dogs will eat anything cooked (and uncooked for that matter!)

* If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum?

A meal planner is a must - and stick to it! We do a monthly shop online for store cupboard basics, then a small weekly shop at a farm shop / butchers / occasionally at the supermarket for the fresh bits we need - I do measure to make sure that I get the right quantities.

Also - feed the dogs leftovers - my vet always says how healthy my dogs are, and they are not overweight as I substitute their food, not give in addition to!

* How do you or how do you think you could make the most of the food that would otherwise be put in the bin?

Use on garden, give to dogs, freeze before it gets to the stage of going off, meal plan and only buy what is needed.

* Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food?

I think meal planning is key! Also, if I bake a cake for home consumption, I freeze it in slices, so I only take out what I need - and it defrosts quicker too!

* Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food?

Use the freezer and meal plan!

* Did you know that tea bags can be put into your local council food waste collection (if you have one) or composted at home?

Yes - I use these on the garden.

Tweet2tweet Fri 26-Oct-12 14:02:47

* Do you throw away much food at home? Where does the food waste go? Do you have a kitchen caddy and compost bin?
We try to minimise the food we waste but do throw some away each week. We have a kitchen caddy that goes to the compost bin in the garden. Give bread to the birds at the weekend on walk to the park. Try to freeze anything that's close to it's use by date and won't be eaten on time.

* Does your local council offer a food waste collection service?
No

* What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away?
Spur of the moment purchases and BOGOF offers that don't get used in time.
Forgetting what I've bought and then buying double.
Being too exhausted to cook and then having ingredients that have gone to waste (I hate this one, really do).

* Of food you throw away, is it mainly cooked or uncooked food?
70% uncooked (although most goes into compost) 30% cooked

* If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum?
We make sure we try to stick to buying what we need. I do a big cook at the weekend and then freeze meals. Financial pressures mean we need to shop smarter and I feel very bad if food every is thrown into the general bin.

* How do you or how do you think you could make the most of the food that would otherwise be put in the bin?
Some easy, quick recipes that involve very little effort for left overs etc.
Better advise on use by dates.

* Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food?
Buy only what you need. Try to resist 'offers' if they can't be frozen and they won't be used. Plan ahead and don't bulk by perishable items.

* Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food?
Make up meals and then freeze. Put the money spent into a jar for the cost of what you are throwing away for a month. At the end of the month total it up- that will make you think twice about throwing things away ;)

* Did you know that tea bags can be put into your local council food waste collection (if you have one) or composted at home?
Yes, we compost our tea bags and coffee grinds

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Fri 26-Oct-12 21:04:59

* Do you throw away much food at home? Where does the food waste go? Do you have a kitchen caddy and compost bin?* we dont throw away much food waste, we have a kitchen caddy and the waste goes into the council garden waste bin,, unfortunatly we have a tiny garden so no space for a compost bin.

* Does your local council offer a food waste collection service?* they supply us with a brown wheelie bin that gets collected every other week

* What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away?* out of date (by a lot), mouldy, uneaten

* Of food you throw away, is it mainly cooked or uncooked food?* uncooked

* If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum?* I have horses and rabbits that eat veg peelings and any fruit and veg that is on the way out, I try not to buy more than we can eat, I would rather go to the shop every couple of days and top up on fresh food instead of it going to waste, I also have a dog who helps with meat scraps. If we have meat that is going out of date I will cook a big batch of something and freeze it.

* How do you or how do you think you could make the most of the food that would otherwise be put in the bin?* cooking and freezing

* Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food?* buy less, cook and freeze food

* Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food?* dont buy huge quantities of fresh food.

* Did you know that tea bags can be put into your local council food waste collection (if you have one) or composted at home?* yes and we do this

cather Sat 27-Oct-12 21:24:04

Do you throw away much food at home? Where does the food waste go? Do you have a kitchen caddy and compost bin?
We throw very little food away and what gets wasted ends to be fruit and vegetables that go off and these go on the compost heap

Does your local council offer a food waste collection service?
No

What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away?
Fruit that goes soft and vegetables that I buy too much of and don't have time to make into soup.

Of food you throw away, is it mainly cooked or uncooked food?
Mainly fruit & vegetables

If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum? I make a lot of soup to use up old vegetables and we eat leftovers

How do you or how do you think you could make the most of the food that would otherwise be put in the bin?
I throw very little away but making soup is good for using up veg that is past it's best

Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food?
Plan your meals in advance as I find this wastes less food

Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food?
Save the plastic containers that spreadable butter comes in or plastic takeaway containers and if you have leftovers at mealtimes put them in the tubs and freeze them so that you have a quick tea for another day.

Did you know that tea bags can be put into your local council food waste collection (if you have one) or composted at home?
We already compost tea bags

notnowbernard Sat 27-Oct-12 21:30:13

Rarely throw food away.

All Big Eaters in our house, DC tend to clear their plates at each meal.

If we over-cook, we'll freeze it or have it again the next day. DP HATES throwing food away... he'll just chuck stuff together in a pan to use it up

We do chuck out tea-bags and coffee grounds though

Council don't offer food waste collection anyway

PurpleCrazyHorse Sun 28-Oct-12 00:05:45

Do you throw away much food at home? Where does the food waste go? Do you have a kitchen caddy and compost bin?
We have a council provided kitchen caddy with biodegradable bags that go in it. The bags then go in a little caddy outside for collection weekly. I try not to throw too much food away and like to freeze/use leftovers where possible. I feel better about using the food waste recycling rather than just binning food.

Does your local council offer a food waste collection service?
Yes, see above.

What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away?
Mostly we throw away mouldy bread. I like to buy it for sandwiches but it seems to go off quite quickly. I try to buy smaller loaves but they're not always significantly cheaper, or I buy a normal sized loaf on a special offer.

I often make too much mash potato too! Potatoes being reasonably cheap to buy so I don't weigh or measure out, therefore do one or two extra just to be sure we've got enough.

Of food you throw away, is it mainly cooked or uncooked food?
Mostly uncooked - bread being the biggest quantity.

If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum?
I try to weigh or measure out food so I make the right amount of rice etc. I also freeze left overs or pop them in the fridge for work lunches.

How do you or how do you think you could make the most of the food that would otherwise be put in the bin?
I'd like to compost it for my own garden rather than put it out for council collection, so I'd gain from my over purchasing!

Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food?
Weighing or measuring food out so you don't unintentionally cook more than you need. I freeze or use the next day too. It's a bit of a pain to have the same thing two days in a row, but I'd rather that than waste it. We also try to all eat the same meal at the same sitting, and any food that isn't dished up is brought to the table so you can have seconds. It also means we swap food from a meal amongst ourselves while sat at the table, so DD wants more mash but doesn't want her last sausage, she might swap with DH or I. Saves wasting some of her meal.

Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food?
We have a monthly food budget which I withdraw in cash. That is all the money for food for the month and we have to make it last. I sometimes have to use things up in the cupboard and freezer that would otherwise sit there until they go significantly past their use by dates. It's a good way of clearing out your cupboards, and using lots of things up. I also think more about what I buy so I can make specific meals with it and it's not just left in the fridge.

Did you know that tea bags can be put into your local council food waste collection (if you have one) or composted at home?
Yes, good job too grin

BetsyBlingtastic Sun 28-Oct-12 00:24:07

We are pretty good at throwing away a minimum of food. We cook just enough food to eat and dish it up on the plate rather than in serving dishes expecting people may have seconds, so we eat everything at meal times.

I must admit I do like our sink disposal system for veg peelings and was only thinking today that I really need to pull my finger out and schlep down the garden with them to put on the compost heap.

Our council does collect food waste but ours is barely a third of the caddy each week. I find it a pain in the neck frankly to separate it out and get it emptied and keep it and the one in the house clean, for so little to deposit.

We use the Lakeland Stay Fresh Longer bags which are miraculous for keeping veg from going off in the fridge. I do sometimes forget things need using up in the fridge - left over sauces, ready foods that go past their dates etc.

I think we're pretty creative at using food up in made up recipes so overall there's very little waste in our household.

LilQueenie Sun 28-Oct-12 00:42:00

* Do you throw away much food at home? Where does the food waste go? Do you have a kitchen caddy and compost bin?
at the moment the bin but would like a compost bin. some food is thrown away because it goes off too quick.
* Does your local council offer a food waste collection service?
not that Im aware. There are many tax dodgers claiming benefits in the area who are unwilling to spend money on food prefering to take it from supermarket bins.
* What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away?
It has gone off
* Of food you throw away, is it mainly cooked or uncooked food?
bit of both
* If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum?
eat what we can or freeze for later
* How do you or how do you think you could make the most of the food that would otherwise be put in the bin?
compost it
* Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food?
smaller portion sizes and if supermarkets themselves would stop chucking it away instead of lowering the price last minute. Some refuse to do this prefering to take a risk and profit from it*
* Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food?
plan in advance what you will cook if possible
* Did you know that tea bags can be put into your local council food waste collection (if you have one) or composted at home?
yes

nikcname Sun 28-Oct-12 01:03:26

* Do you throw away much food at home? Where does the food waste go? Do you have a kitchen caddy and compost bin? Not that much, food waste now goes in regular bin, see below
* Does your local council offer a food waste collection service? We moved 3 weeks ago from a council who supplied a food caddy for inside then a larger one for outside (for cooked and uncooked food). Council picked it up every week without failWe had to buy green recycle bags, not cheap, however a necessity.Tried to recycle with new council but is so hard it isn't worth it. WE actually find it hard to put food waste in regular bin as it 'feels wrong' won't last though. We only moved a mile away. Mad
* What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away? Overcooking, overestimating what we are having per week, large packs/bogofs that get wasted as they were cheaper in the first place.
* Of food you throw away, is it mainly cooked or uncooked food? Varies
* If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum? Menu planning and sticking to it.
* How do you or how do you think you could make the most of the food that would otherwise be put in the bin? Reusing, refrigerating, freezing, making something like spag bol that you can throw anything into
* Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food? menu plan and stick to it
* Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food? See above
* Did you know that tea bags can be put into your local council food waste collection (if you have one) or composted at home? Yes, have done for years, until recent move, see above.

KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 29-Oct-12 09:51:46

Thanks everyone for your comments. The winner of the prize draw is...

ScienceRocks

Congratulations, I'll PM you to get your details.

ScienceRocks Tue 30-Oct-12 14:49:38

blushgrin

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