Those of you who regularly visit our Facebook page will have seen that we have been keenly following the BBC show Hughâ€™s War on Waste. Whilst food waste is not something we are involved in, some of the statistics highlighted within the show make for pretty shocking reading.
For those of you who have not seen the show, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is campaigning to change the way that we look at waste. In the first episode he highlighted that, at a time when millions are relying on food banks and 13 million people are struggling to afford to eat, a significant proportion of the food we produce never gets consumed.
As part of his campaign, Hugh offers a number of tips â€“ including how to preserve the life of the food we purchase and ensure that it does not go off before we have a chance to eat it. Some of his suggestions include:
- Putting mushrooms into a paper or cloth bag and storing them in a cool place instead of a plastic container. When stored in plastic, mushrooms will sweat and rot.
- Rather than throwing away limp lettuce, simply dunk it in a bowl of iced water for a few minutes and watch as it magically regains some of its freshness.
- If you find your strawberries arenâ€™t as fresh as they were, you can turn them into raw compote by squeezing over some lemon juice, sprinkling on some sugar and leave for half an hour until delicious light syrup has formed.
- Almost all dairy products can be frozen and defrosted as and when required, including butter, cream, milk and hard cheeses. Soft cheeses are an exception to this rule however.
At a parsnip farm in Norfolk, Hugh uncovered that the strict cosmetic standards enforced by supermarkets meant that as much as 40% of the produce that the farm produces never makes it onto the shelves. He therefore decides to take on the big four supermarkets over their record on waste.
In subsequent episodes, Hugh takes a look at other forms of waste â€“ including plastic and textile products and challenges homeowners to reduce the amount of recyclable rubbish which ends up in their bins.
You can find out more about the War on Waste campaign and sign Hughâ€™s pledge by visiting www.wastenotuk.com.