PM urges families to stop wasting foodHe says move will help combat rising prices

08 July 2008

A fridge full of food

A third of all the food we buy is thrown away

The government has called on consumers to cut down on the billions of pounds worth of food wasted each year.

It follows a Cabinet Office report which warns that affordable food can no longer be taken for granted.

The study says world food output has to rise to cope with a growing global population, in the shadow of a changing climate and scarcer natural resources.

Waste

But it says that cutting waste - both in UK homes and in the developing world food chain - will help cut bills and meet rising demand.

A third of all food bought in the UK each year is wasted, costing the average household £420 each.

A report from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap) in May estimated that householders threw out 1.3 million unopened yoghurt pots, 5,500 whole chickens and 440,000 ready meals each day.

Food tips

Now Prime Minister Gordon Brown is urging families to eat prudently, thinking before they eat, storing food properly and planning meals to avoid waste and save money.

If you want to cut down on the amount of food you waste, then consider:

  • buying smaller packet sizes
  • freezing leftover portions of meals
  • only cooking what you realistically expect to eat
  • planning out your meals for the week and then making a shopping list and sticking to it
  • checking use by and best before dates when shopping and deciding whether you'll get to eat the food before this time
  • freezing food on the day of purchase if you don't expect to eat it before the use by/best before date.
  • using recipes that use up leftover ingredients, such as bubble and squeak.