The team at Love Food Hate Waste invited me down to Smiths of Smithfield to learn all about the country’s #meatyissues, particularly in relation to beef wastage. Now whenever I walk into a room full of food bloggers I feel extremely out-of-place. I am in no way a foodie, as I’ve mentioned before I am both a can’t cook and a won’t cook, and eat a fish finger sandwich at least twice a week. But the Love Food Hate Waste campaign is something I feel passionate about so I wanted to find out more.
Disclaimer – if you want to read a post about a nice afternoon, and lots of delicious food then this is not the one to read. In comparison to the real issues that pales into insignificance.
Let me put it like this. In the UK we throw away the equivalent of 300 million burgers, in beef, every year. I don’t know about you, but my brain cannot comprehend numbers that big. I’m not a vegetarian, but the thought of all the animals that are both lovingly, and sometimes not so lovingly farmed, and then slaughtered for us to just toss the meat straight into the bin, is really upsetting.
And it’s not just meat wastage that is a problem. Whilst at dinner I also found out that every day London yes JUST London, throws away enough bread to fill The Shard four times! Every. Day.
WE FILL THE SHARD UP FOUR TIMES WITH THE BREAD WE THROW AWAY EVERY DAY.
I’m just going to let that sink in.
What kind of people are we, that we think this is ok? Of course these stats aren’t just in relation to individuals and include restaurants and cafes as well, but we all play our part.
You may then say ‘well what difference will I make, if the problem is that great’. But if everyone makes a small change it can make a big difference. Personally, I think we have no choice. We cannot go on wasting our resources to make food that we are just throwing in the bin. We cannot continue like it doesn’t matter.
And if the environment isn’t enough of a reason for you to make some changes – think of all the money that is being tossed straight into the bin every week when you clear out your fridge!
The people at Love Food Hate Waste have a lot of ideas for how to make changes that can make a big difference, and here are a few to help you get started:
- Using different, rarer cuts of meat so that the butchers and supermarkets can sell them, and they aren’t just wasted. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Cow’s are pretty big animals, and there is a lot more to them than just the rump! At dinner we had Beef heel, also known as leg of mutton, and it was delicious.
- We can meal plan to make sure we only buy what we need, and can use leftovers to make other meals through the week. A Sunday Roast’s leftovers can easily be chucked into a Monday night Stir-fry, or even more simply, beef sandwiches for work the next day!
- Look in your fridge before you go shopping – this way you can make sure you don’t buy things you already have, and end up with double what you need!
- Also check portion sizes before you go, to make sure you buy the right amount, and there is nothing left on plates that will either go in the bin or the dogs bowl!
- Check use by dates! Don’t buy something that goes off in three days if you aren’t likely to use it before then!
- If you do – put it in the freezer, and plan a meal to use it up in the following weeks – small portions can even be cooked from frozen! Love food Hate Waste recommend that we try to eat from the freezer at least once a week, to ensure food doesn’t get forgotten about!
Since attending this event last week, I’ve already been much more conscious of what I throw away and also what I buy to make sure I waste as little as possible. (I haven’t bought any bread since!)
There are loads more handy tips, tools and recipes on the Love Food Hate Waste website to help you get to grips with your wastage.
Thank you to Love Food Hate Waste for inviting me, and opening my eyes to such an important, but unconsidered issue.