Every year, 8.3 million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK at a cost of nearly £12 billion, according to the Waste and Resource Action Programme [WRAP]. This works out at a staggering 330kg per household per year and the impact of all this wasted food on the environment is also shocking. In the UK alone, green house gas emissions associated with avoidable food and drink waste add up to 20 million tonnes of CO2 a year.
But help is at hand in the shape of the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, which is attempting to reduce waste by changing our cooking habits and our attitude towards leftovers. Celebrity chef Richard Fox is busy touring the country with the Love Food Hate Waste road show and demonstrating how to give new life to leftovers destined for the bin. ‘When your vegetables are starting to look tired and drab in the veg rack, just roast, char-grill or pan fry them, then let them cool down and refrigerate, ready to throw together for a delicious, instant meal with the simple addition of a little grated cheese, crème frâiche, tinned tomatoes or anything else that comes to hand’
Richard’s Top Waste Busting Tips
1. Make fragile fresh herbs such as parsley, coriander, dill and chives last up to 10 times longer by wrapping them in dampened, absorbent kitchen paper, followed by cling film. Store them in the fridge.
2. Use up whole bulbs of garlic by wrapping them loosely in kitchen foil and then roasting in a 180° pre-heated oven for 45 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the size of the garlic. Cut through the middle and squeeze out a delicious garlic puree for mashed potato, or for eating with flat bread. Once roasted, freeze in half garlic portions.
3. Keep bagged salad fresher for longer by not storing in the bag once it’s opened. Instead, transfer to a plastic container or bowl, lay over damp absorbent kitchen paper or damp, clean J-cloth, and then cover in cling film or a lid.
4. Keep small amounts of cooked leftovers such as broccoli, tinned fish, peas and potato, then combine to make a new dish such as fish cakes.
5. Don’t throw away dried herbs and spices when they’re past their best before date. Simply add more to compensate for any loss of aroma or flavour.
More information, recipes, tips and advice can be found at www.lovefoodhatewaste.com
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