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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

letticepetticoat Tue 23-Oct-12 11:37:21

I find meal planning has stopped any food wastage in our house.I plan two meals per week around potatoes, two rice and two pasta, and we have roast dinner on Sundays.Meat is bought once every two weeks in bulk from Asda home delivery,then frozen and defrosted overnight for a particular planned meal.I buy many more frozen veg than I used to.I hate the fact that supermarkets will only keep 'perfect' fruit and veg.I was in a local greengrocer the other day and they had Egremont Russet apples-far tastier than Golden Delicious or other supermarket favourites,and they looked like apples should-not perfect! I think I partly abhor food waste because my parents grew up during the war and my Dad in particular came from a large family where there was not enough to eat. He and his brothers had to work on a small holding from an early age to supplement their rations, and so still value food as a precious commodity not to be wasted.I don't know how home economics is taught in schools these days,but I think we are doing our children a disservice if we don't educate them in this area-If I waste food I may as well put money straight in the bin!The amount of food wasted by the big supermarkets is truly disgusting.

StainlessSteelCat Tue 23-Oct-12 11:43:36

* 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 away far too much. All food waste goes in kitchen caddy (with liner). We don't have a compost heap; we would like one but our garden is small and we would be able to smell it in the summer.
* Does your local council offer a food waste collection service?
We live in Manchester, they give us a kitchen caddy and free liners (tie one onto handle of green bin to get another roll) and collect the green bin once a week. The green bin is for all food waste and garden waste, and is large. I think it's a great service, partly because it's simple. Any food item can go in the caddy, including bones, coffee grounds ... I can't think of any food stuff that can't.
* What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away?
2 main reasons: 1) young children decide they are not hungry/don't like it. 2) i buy fresh veg and then don't get to cook what I had planned - also usually due to young children, although this time because they don't sleep or plans change and I can't spend the time I need to cook a planned dish. Occasionally, it's because i get distracted and burn supper. Another source is uneaten but squashed food from lunch boxes.
* Of food you throw away, is it mainly cooked or uncooked food?
more raw; a large part of it is peel, cores, etc. Cooked food is probably 1/4 to 1/3 at most.
* If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum?
When it all works, meal planning and not buying larger multipacks of fruit/veg. buying in season to some extend to avoid fruit that won't ripen/ripens overnight and goes from unripe to rotten in the hours of darkness. Buying as and when I need it, rather tan trying to do all fruit/veg shopping just once a week. using frozen veg and tinned fruit.
* 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 try to freeze things if I can, or cook them into something I can freeze and use later, eg apple sauce for old apples, soup/stock for veg. this is more of an ambition than actuality at the moment, remember the small children?
* Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food?
Be time rich: not wasting food means being able to spend the time needed to cook it or to go and buy it every day or so. Don't buy much fresh fruit/veg, eat frozen/tinned. Have children who eat what you give them in predictable /amounts. Don't be adventurous in your cooking. Did you want usable ideas?
* Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food?
Have "bottom of the fridge" soup once a week. Don't let anyone else see what goes into it.
* 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 yes.

pushitreallgood Tue 23-Oct-12 11:48:48

bread was a massive bug bear of mine as in my house it would seem to go mouldy very quickly, but i think that could be down to moisture in the kitchen in general. food doesn't get wasted from cooking as well use bones to make stock any leftovers go in the fridge for lunch or to be used as part of the next meal.
if things are looking on there last legs i will cook them up and freeze them so they can be used in a meal, there are some bananas down stairs waiting to be be turned in to bread. i wasn't always as efficient but i got so annoyed with the amount i was basically throwing away each week.
but i think the real culprits of this are supermarkets and they need to be forced in to some kind of program were they give away there unwanted food as their wastage is disgusting.

Tamoo Tue 23-Oct-12 11:52:36

I throw out very little food. Our local council recently (within the last year) issued all households with a kitchen caddy, they collect from the street once a week. Within the last couple of months they have also put large bins for kitchen waste in the street so there is that option as well.

I have to say that part of the reason I throw out little food is because I live in a city with easy access to shops and can buy food a little at a time quite conveniently. A few years ago I lived more rurally and had a lot more food waste, simply because I had to do a big shop once a week, and buy all our perishables in one go. Some simply didn't get used in time or as planned.

Most of our waste is inedible stuff like veg peelings, egg shells, fishbones etc. I make a point with DS that casual food wastage costs money and is also morally wrong given the number of people who have to go without. If I cook too much I am quite happy to stick it in a bowl in the fridge and eat it myself the next day, even things like rice which a lot of people are paranoid about wrt food poisoning.

I freeze as much as possible, keep bread in the freezer for example and take out slices as needed, also freeze portion-sized meals for DS when I've cooked too much.

Something that helps us is that our council takes cooked and uncooked waste together. Previously we just had garden compost and this restricted what could be composted. Now everything goes in the same bin and no food at all goes in landfill.

The only thing that bothers me slightly is the cost of the small green compostable bags that line the kitchen caddy. They are expensive for those on a tight budget.

Yes I knew that about tea bags.

GooseyLoosey Tue 23-Oct-12 11:53:13

We do throw away food sometimes. In recent years we have tried to be more aware of the kinds of things we throw away and to buy less of them.

I do not have a compost bin as I found that compounded our existing rat problem.

The council provided everyone with a kitchen caddy, but I could not bear to have it in the kitchen. A better way for me to deal with the problem is just to cut down on waste.

One of our biggest problems was other people's children who ate little or nothing of the food put out. Problem is solved by not dishing up but putting food in serving bowls and then what is left can be eaten later.

insanityscratching Tue 23-Oct-12 11:56:23

* Do you throw away much food at home? Where does the food waste go? Do you have a kitchen caddy and compost bin?
I try to throw away as little as possible and am reasonably successful tbh. We don't have a caddy or compost bin I wouldn't use one tbh because I have a horror of mice and rats and would be scared that this would encourager them
* Does your local council offer a food waste collection service?
* What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away?
I only really throw away carcasses, fat from meat and fruit and veg peelings
* Of food you throw away, is it mainly cooked or uncooked food?
Mostly peelings so uncooked.
* If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum?
I use all leftovers either as packed lunch the following day or freeze them for another time. We all serve ourselves a small portion and then have seconds rather than serving too much in the first place.
* 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 suppose I could compost them but won't because of rats or mice.
* Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food?
Have lots of tubs and a large freezer, freeze in individual portions, serve small portions and offer seconds, make two meals and freeze half rather than cooking more than you need because of the size of the meat or veg you have in.
* Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food?
Bulk buy, meal plan, prepare, blanch and freeze veg when you buy them instead of daily.
* 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 did.

piprabbit Tue 23-Oct-12 11:59:38

I think we are pretty good an minimising food waste. DH does all the shopping and he usually only buys exactly what we need for meals for the week (half-heartedly planned in advance, but flexible when he sees what is available in the shops).

We have two freezers (one small, one tall) which we completely rely on. Extras and leftovers are usually frozen - and if there is a good 2-for-1 offer then the extra goes in the freezer rather than hanging around to go off.

* We have a kitchen caddy and compost bin
* The council collects food waste alongside garden waste in the compost bin
* We throw food away because it has gone mouldy. Sometimes this seems to happen very quickly with fruit and veg. The rest of the food we throw away is peelings and trimmings from prepping food, and the food that DS picks over and leaves on his plate.
* Mostly uncooked food is thrown away.
* I think we could make more stocks and soups from trimmings/carcasses etc. but am not convinced that it is worth the time and fuel to make them when we don't eat a lot of soup.
* If you want to take advantages of special offers - think about storing the food and plan to use your freezer as much as possible.
* Teabags go in out compost bin.

ICutMyFootOnOccamsRazor Tue 23-Oct-12 12:09:08

* Do you throw away much food at home? Where does the food waste go? Do you have a kitchen caddy and compost bin?*
No, we don't throw much away, and we have chickens, so anything that's non-meat, non-citrus that's getting binned goes to them.

* Does your local council offer a food waste collection service?*
No they don't, although they have sent round info about composting at home.

* What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away?*
Veg peelings, eggshells, corn cobs, apple cores, plate scrapings. We don't throw away much that would be edible, although DD contributes her bit by throwing a fair amount on the floor during mealtimes.

* Of food you throw away, is it mainly cooked or uncooked food?*
Mixture of the two, I suppose uncooked, mostly, as in the veg peelings.

* If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum?*
Meal plan, don't impulse buy, try to assess each day what needs eating up first.

* How do you or how do you think you could make the most of the food that would otherwise be put in the bin?*
We never throw away even little bits of leftover, as they're all good for toddler dd. DS also gets dinner leftovers for his school lunch the next day, often. If there's any vegetables that have gone a bit over I make soup.

* Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food?*
A decent-sized freezer and meal planning are probably the two things that make a big difference here.

* Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food?*
Take advantage of offers by buying big packs or bogof, cooking double and them freezing one. It's brilliant for evenings when you don't have time to cook.

* 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, but we don't drink tea.

Another one for whom food waste is a pet hate.
* Do you throw away much food at home? Where does the food waste go? Do you have a kitchen caddy and compost bin?*
As little as possible but am weaning twins so there's a certain amount of collateral damage. It goes into a green council food waste caddy. I would like it to go into the dog, but he has too many allergies. Sigh..

* Does your local council offer a food waste collection service?*
Yes, weekly. The caddy has to be used unlined or with compostable liners, which are completely incapable of containing food.

* What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away?*
Things the babies have thrown/dropped/inexplicably started disliking are the main things. Bagged salad is the only grown-up food we throw away regularly. Our nearest Sainsburys has massively expanded to become a superstore and they seem unable to store fruit and veg as well as they used to so it goes off within a day of buying it these days. Waitrose now works out cheaper for salad, veg & fruit because there is so much less wastage.

* Of food you throw away, is it mainly cooked or uncooked food?*
Uncooked (unless baby food). Nothing cooked gets left in this house!

* If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum?* We're quite greedy. Also I'm quite fanatical about planning meals to use things up, and left over veg can get mashed for babies.

* How do you or how do you think you could make the most of the food that would otherwise be put in the bin?* Don't think there's much more we could do.

* Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food?* Have started making freezer tubs of things like mashed potatoes - saves doing it twice and saves them going green in the cupboard. Fab for babies' shepherds pie etc.

* Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food?* Avoid BOGOF offers. Meal plan. Have storecupboard ingredients for risotto or eggs for frittata in to use up leftovers.

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

kitchendancer Tue 23-Oct-12 12:09:52

Since we have had less money (due to redundancy and various other family issues) we have less food waste. Needs must as they say. I don't do as many supermarket shops and I live further away from the big supermarkets too. We used to live in a city and were surrounded by Sainsburys and Tescos, now I have to drive to another town for a decent supermarket so I don't do it as much. I also have a smaller freezer and kitchen in our rented property so haven't got the space for the bulk buying I used to do. Because we have kids, I do want to bulk buy still but am already going through a process of re-educating myself that I don;t need ( nor can afford) the 2 for 1 / 3 for 2 promotions when I only need one thing in the end anyway. Overall,. I think it leads to less waste.

Our previous house didn't have a food bin, the new one does. A lot of the food is waste form kids not eating all of their food, peelings etc and bits of fruit or that thing at the back of the fridge that we have forgotten about and that has gone off. But I think we do better than most to be honest.

I actually hate the design of my fridge though and think it contributes to the amount of waste. It's too small and there isn't space to get a bigger one; too deep so things get stuck at the back and I still tend to overfill it with kids yoghurts and such like so there is always something lurking no matter how hard you try to avoid that!

ComradeJing Tue 23-Oct-12 12:13:41

* Do you throw away much food at home? Where does the food waste go? Do you have a kitchen caddy and compost bin?
I did in China. Food went off very, very quickly and getting to the shops was a chore. I wasn't very happy so fed myself very badly. Now we're here I'm much better at online shopping and we will have a kitchen caddy, compost bin and worm farm as soon as we move into our new house.
* Does your local council offer a food waste collection service?
No.
* What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away?
Because it's gone manky if it's raw or sat for too long in the fridge if it's cooked.
* Of food you throw away, is it mainly cooked or uncooked food?
Both really. Probably more uncooked veg than anything else. I have no real idea how to use it up.
* If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum?
Meal planning and starting to order food online for the week with only one or two top up shops. Top up shops so far have just been for things that I under ordered so needed more of to last the week.
* 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 love ideas on how to use veg and fruit. I know everyone says, "smoothies or soup" but I'm not sure what to actually DO.
* Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food?
Meal plan and stick to it.
* Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food? Again, meal plan and cook less.
* 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 for the compost.

Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food? Avoid BOGOF offers.

Actually that doesn't make sense. BOGOF offers are fine as they don't cost you any extra money, but might increase waste unless you can freeze the stuff. The ones to avoid are the 'Buy 2 for £3' offers on things you didn't actually need/fruit that's about to go over-ripe etc.

I live in Surrey and we have a dedicated weekly service to remove the wet waste/waste food. At the same time there is a council drive to stop wasting food. There is the outlay of the bags for the kitchen caddies and then the bin gets emptied and left up to the users to clean ...

Meal planning reduces a lot of waste. I also feel that the supermarkets have a lot to answer for wrt waste food - things like BOGOF and supposedly cheap food encourages buying too much and wastage.

I think it is a good idea in that the food waste needs a different and faster way to be processed. I think it is a complicated issue reducing wastage and responsibility should not solely be placed on the door of the householder.

Foodbanks ask for non perishable foods ...

ZombTEE Tue 23-Oct-12 12:21:02

"Scrapping best before dates on food would save a lot of wastage...people should be able to tell if something fresh is edible or not by the way it looks/smells/feels."

This. The amount of food that my husband and I fight over, because he was raised here in the UK where you throw it away on the date it expires and I was raised in the US where we use our noses and our common sense, is obscene.

All you have to do is read MN for 10 minutes. How many threads are there that say 'this expired yesterday, can I still eat it?'

Yes, you can still eat it, unless it is a strange colour or has a strange odour!!! The food does not have a built in expiration date checker!

We do have a council collect food waste caddy, which I have a love/hate relationship with. When we buy a house in a year or two we'll do home composting because I'll be able to have a vegetable garden.

slug Tue 23-Oct-12 12:22:22

* 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 a lot away. I'm a dab hand at using up leftovers and we do small, frequent shopping trips (we walk) rather than a large one less often

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

Not that I know of

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

Mould or the child suddenly deciding she does not like it even though she loved it the day before.

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

Cooked

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

We cook with an eye to the next day's meal. i.e. we often cook enough for a lunch the next day or with an eye to how any leftovers could be used.

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

Don't put a lot in the bin to be honest. I was brought up in the colonies where re use recycle and repurpose was simply a way of life.

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

Learn to cook creatively i.e. not just recipes but knowing what can be put together and how. Knowing how to make a pastry or a fritter batter for example is the basis of my leftover recycling plan.

* 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?

Sadly we don't have a waste food collection service or a garden. Nor do we have the space in a kitchen the where you could not swing an anorexic kitten for yet another bin.

Do you throw away much food at home? Where does the food waste go? Do you have a kitchen caddy and compost bin?
Very little. Peelings of veg go to the rabbit / guinea pigs. Compost bin currently out of service due to garden refurb, but in the main we used this but now compost with the garden stuff to the local recycling place. Tend to throw away very little cooked food - don't pay too much attention to the best before / use by type dates!!

* Does your local council offer a food waste collection service?*
Not that I know of.

What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away?
Sometimes food does go off, or left overs not used and the collection of plastic boxes get s a bit big, the sniff test fails.

Of food you throw away, is it mainly cooked or uncooked food?
Scrapings from the plate I suppose, or gone off veg. Very little else.

If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum?
By planning how to use the food, use of freezer and making soups /stocks you can use less than perfect items.

How do you or how do you think you could make the most of the food that would otherwise be put in the bin?
Is this domestic or the supermarkets? Supermarkets don't start marking down soon enough and have seen them get bin bags and put all 'old' bread in at a certain time - even a cake I offered to buy if they reduced the price down further was declined!
In general feel that people are quite fixated by the dates and don't use common sense. Improve home ec skills in schools so people know how to use up older stuff.

Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food?
Plan more, use freezer, be less fussy about dates, less fussy about come meals that are made up of 'left overs' but can be great!!

Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food?
Plan more, use freezer, be less fussy about dates, less fussy about come meals that are made up of 'left overs' but can be great!!

Did you know that tea bags can be put into your local council food waste collection (if you have one) or composted at home?
Put in green waste along with coffe grindings too.

FreckledLeopard Tue 23-Oct-12 12:29:34

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

Yes - far too much stuff gets thrown out. We do have a kitchen caddy, and compost outside, so it all goes to some greater purpose hmm, but overall, we chuck out far too much.

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

Yes - weekly collection for all food waste.

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

Number of reasons. Mainly, it's just our au pair and DD who eat at home in the evenings - I'm normally at work still. Au pair makes stuff each day, which, if leftover, invariably doesn't get re-used the next day or after by anyone. Au pair will cook something new, old stuff will sit in fridge, I won't be home so don't know how long it's been there for, so after a while it just gets chucked. Similarly, I always buy fresh fruit veg, with plans to use it all, but there's always some left that doesn't get used.

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

Mixture - about 50/50

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

Am hoping for tips from this thread...

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

Meal planning might help, but I guess the main thing would be for me to actually be at home and in charge of cooking. Since I'm always at work, I just am so out of touch, that it's hard not to be wasteful.

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

Have a compliant, non-fussy daughter who doesn't moan if she gets dished up leftovers.

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

Um....not really

* 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

Error404 Tue 23-Oct-12 12:42:32

* 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 away some food, both leftovres when we've cooked too much and less often unused uncooked food though this is rarer. It goes in the compost if compostable or down the waste-disposal.

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

* What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away? See above. Overgenerous cooking.

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

* If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum? I don't throw away much uncooked/unstarted food. I meal plan and keep a careful eye on things so that if plans change food is frozen for future use before it gets spoiled.

* How do you or how do you think you could make the most of the food that would otherwise be put in the bin? We;re not good as resusing leftovers.

* Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food? Nope, sorry!

* Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food? Menu plan. If cooked toom uch then freeze a neatlooking portion before it becomes less attractive as messy old leftovers.

* 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 do compost tesbags.

trice Tue 23-Oct-12 12:47:46

I am on a budget so I get very upset if I have to throw food away. I meal plan and use a shopping list. I weigh out rice or meat before I cook so that our portions are right. I freeze anything that looks like it is going out of date. I am queen of the stock pot and make soup out of leftovers regularly.

Next doors chickens get vegetable waste. The small amount of meat or egg waste goes down the kitchen sink disposal (I know it is bad for the environment but it is really a tiny amount and it stops the bin smelling or getting maggoty). It is only cooked bones or carcasses which end up in the bin.

Our council dont recycle anything and the tip/recycling centre is ten miles away.

Do you throw away much food at home? Where does the food waste go?

We throw very little away. Any cooked meat or veg leftovers go in the fridge and we have a leftovers meal once a week, something like omelettes or pasties. Fruit past its best is made into desserts or purees to add to yoghurt, veg often becomes soup. Stale bread goes in the freezer for breadcrumbs.

Do you have a kitchen caddy and compost bin?

We have a compost bin outside.

Does your local council offer a food waste collection service?

No.

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

We only really throw things away if they can't be used for something else, so if something has been left out for too long to be safe to refridgerate it will go in the bin. Or if a sauce has been added to something then not eaten.

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

Cooked.

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

We meal plan and buy what we need. I do buy reductions and multibuy offers in the supermarkets and will freeze them to be used 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?

I don't think we could do much more than we do.

Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food?

Meal planning is key, you only really buy what you need. Get a few recipes in your repertoire that can be adapted to suit different ingredients, e.g. hashes, gratins, pies.

Use your eyes and nose. Best before dates are a guide but you can tell how safe many things are to eat by the look and smell of them. Non perishables are fine for quite a while after bb dates.

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

Meal plan. Buy fruit and veg a couple of times a week so you only get what you'll eat. If you buy lunch at work, don't! We turn leftovers into pasties, soups and pasta bakes to take to work.

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

debka Tue 23-Oct-12 12:51:20

Do you throw away much food at home? Where does the food waste go? Do you have a kitchen caddy and compost bin?
Peelings, eggshells, teabags etc go in the compost bin. Crusts and plate scrapings go in the kitchen caddy. Stale bread gets turned into breadcrumbs and frozen. Don't throw anything else away.

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

What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away?
Scrapings from our plates when I've served too much out,

Of food you throw away, is it mainly cooked or uncooked food?
If peelings and cores count as food- then uncooked!

If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum?
I meal plan religiously.

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 don't think I throw away anything that isn't edible!

Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food?
Actually THINK about what you need and plan each meal carefully. Make use of your freezer, so if you buy meat for example that's on offer, freeze it straight away rather than wait for it to go off. Basically be more organised.

Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food?
All the 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 I did.

Mrscoghoul Tue 23-Oct-12 12:54:47

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

We don't throw much away - mainly the occasional piece of fruit/veg that is beyond stewing/souping, and the fat we chop off meat. Our waste goes straight in to the 'normal' rubbish bin as our property is too small for a compost bin.

Does your local council offer a food waste collection service?

No

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

Normally where we've gone away for the weekend/not eaten at home as much and overplanned meals and the food has gone off. That, and throwing away trimmed off fat on meat.

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

Almost always uncooked.

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

Meal planning, and then also using good recipies for food that's gone beyond its best - soups, stewing fruit etc. Also take use by and best before dates with a bit of a pinch of salt, I use look and smell to determine safety. Especially with eggs and yoghurts and cheese which are ridiculously short dated.

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

Maybe give fat scraps to the birds, and would compost vegetable products/tea bags if I had more space.

Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food?

Meal plan, and only buy what you need.

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

Again, meal plan, only buy what you need. If you've got too much food, batch cook it all then freeze it.

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

* 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 a vast amount of food waste, but more than I'd like. Mostly it's food that's fallen on the floor (toddler!) or occasionally something that's gone off (fruit seems to be the main culprit). Most of what goes into our compost bin is tea bags, peelings and kitchen paper.

* Does your local council offer a food waste collection service?
Yes. We have a big green bin for food waste, garden waste and cardboard that's collected fortnightly.

* What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away?
Mainly food that's been on the floor or that DD didn't finish eating and DH doesn't feel like finishing off.

* Of food you throw away, is it mainly cooked or uncooked food?
Mainly raw vegetable peelings and cooked toddler food.

* If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum?
All leftovers go into DH's lunchbox. (or get frozen). I shop frequently so we have a rapid turnover of fruit and vegetables.

* How do you or how do you think you could make the most of the food that would otherwise be put in the bin?
Leftovers for lunches. Freeze extra portions. We could make soup, but we don't tend to eat soup very much.

* Have you got any great ideas for wasting less food?
Buy perishable foods in smaller amounts and more often.

* Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food?
Not really. I'll be reading everyone else's though.

* 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.

TrickyWoo Tue 23-Oct-12 12:56:44

* Do you throw away much food at home? A bit but not much, and usually leftovers from children rather than stuff going off
Where does the food waste go? In starch sacks the into our garden waste bin.
Do you have a kitchen caddy and compost bin? We have a compost bin at home but use for garden waste as the recycling scheme in our area is excellent : food waste goes into garden waste bin and can include raw or cooked food, plate scrapings, bones - anything!
* Does your local council offer a food waste collection service? Fortnightly garden waste bin collection which includes food waste.
* What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away: occasionally forget about it, but usually menu plan, usually freeze before too late
* Of food you throw away, is it mainly cooked or uncooked food? Cooked scrapings or leftovers.some stale bread but tend to whizz up for breadcrumbs and freeze.
* If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum? Meal plan, use the freezer, leftovers for lunch at work, freeze stock, freeze parmesan rinds, freeze breadcrumbs, batch cook.
* Have you got any top money-saving tips that also help you to throw away less food? Batch cook and use the freezer. Menu 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!

tugamommy Tue 23-Oct-12 12:57:35

* 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 away more than we should. The children are terrible for this as they never finish the food on their plates. We have a kitchen caddy and use it for all compostable waste

* Does your local council offer a food waste collection service? We have collection of compostable waste. It includes food and garden waste, etc

* What are the main reasons or circumstances that you throw food away? Children not finishing what's on their plates, buying food without meal planning, saving cooked food for eating later and not getting round to it

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

* If you don't throw away much food, how do you manage to keep waste to a minimum? Best way of not throwing any food away is meal planning.

* How do you or how do you think you could make the most of the food that would otherwise be put in the bin? make soup with left over veg, take leftovers for lunch the next day

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

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

* 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

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