Written by Anyès Reading, Relationship Manager at Dandelion Time
I had an amazing day at Tesco Community Cookery School learning to use left over food to make delicious and nutritious recipes to feed a family or even better still feed people in the community who don’t have much.
I was shocked to see that 65 million meals a year are wasted in the UK. That’s the equivalent of every person living in Britain wasting a meal a day! According to The Waste & Resources Action Programme, every day in UK homes we throw away 20 million slices of bread, 2.7 million carrots & 1.2 million tomatoes. I am not even talking about the packaging that goes with it which contribute to the forever deteriorating state of our environment!
All this food has been sown, cultivated, handled, treated, watered, harvested, packaged, insured, transported, distributed, sold and bought. A huge amount of labour, machinery, petrol, salaries, time and energy has gone to waste too at the same time. It’s no wonder that Food and drink makes up around 15% of the average person in the UK’s carbon footprint. However, initiatives like Tesco’s Community Cookery School which is run in partnership with Jamie Oliver & Fareshare, helps to combat this issue, by saving food to feed communities and help charities like ours.
Back in January, I spent the day in Welwyn Garden City with many other charity members learning and concocting new exciting recipes with ingredients that would otherwise have made it to the bin! We prepared a tasty, nutritious vegetarian curry, a delicious white sauce, a tomato sauce and two pasta dishes. All cooked from scratch, along the way we learnt new knife skills, chopping skills and many other little tricks from Chef Aidan.
At Dandelion Time, we are passionate about working towards a healthy and sustainable food future for children and families. Families work on our farm growing, harvesting and preparing vegetables. These practical tasks help expand their senses and increase self esteem and confidence. In addition we are lucky enough to benefit from FareShare’s Surplus Food Scheme which we use to prepare nutritious meals for our families. Our amazing young cooks are always busy being creative making colourful, nutritious recipes such as soups, houmous, quiches and delicious bread.
If we all do some easy practical everyday things in the home we can all waste less food, which will save time, money and the environment too.
Here are our Top Tips for reducing Food Waste;
- Be adaptable and if you are missing an ingredient, go without it or replace it with another ingredient from the same family, I’m thinking use onions if you don’t have leeks or sweet potatoes instead of butternut squash?
- Write a meal plan for the week and only buy what you need
- Use your leftovers for meals the following day. If you have too many vegetables left over you can use them in an omelette or add them to a salad with a fragrant dressing?
- Freeze what you won’t use in time. Food doesn’t need to be frozen on the day of purchase and is fine to freeze up to the use-by date. Most foods can be frozen – bread (slice it first), cheese and even eggs once they’ve been cracked and beaten
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