4th July 2012
Love Food Summer 2012

Are you throwing money away?

As food prices continue to rise around the world, itís a sobering thought to know that UK families waste up to £50 a month throwing away uneaten food.

We also know that cutting down on food waste can be a challenge, especially when youíre pushed for time or your kids donít always want to eat what youíve cooked for them.

So to help you waste less, Surrey County Councilís Love Food Surrey campaign provides helpful tips on how to save more and waste less, but for the food waste you canít avoid, you can use your kerbside food waste collection service, when available. By collecting food separately from general waste it can be processed in a more environmentally friendly way and turned into fertiliser for use on farms.

Taking just one small step to reduce food waste can have a big positive effect on the environment and save you money too. We hope our tips will inspire you to take that step.

It pays to plan Before you do your next big shop, check what you have left, be creative and make a meal planner for the week, so you only buy what you need.

Perfect portions Weighing and measuring food is the best way to cook perfect portions. To help, use mugs, spoons, spaghetti measures or weighing sales so that you can work out just the right amount of food to cook for your family.

Lovely leftovers If youíve cooked too much, cool your leftovers as soon as possible, store in the fridge and eat within 2 days, or freeze them for another time. You could try to use the leftovers for another meal; take a look at what you already have in your kitchen to help.

Store food properly Correct storage means your food could live for extra days, weeks or even months. Keep the fridge below 5įC and chilled food will stay fresh for longer.

Use by These dates are for safety and must be followed correctly; donít use any food after the end of the Ďuse byí date, even if it looks and smells fine. This is because using it after this date could put your health at risk. To extend the life of food beyond this date, freeze it before the date, defrost when needed and use within 24 hours.

Best before These dates refer to quality not to food safety; foods with a Ďbest beforeí date should be safe to eat after this date (except for eggs), but they may no longer be at their best.

What a waste
Research indicates that Surrey residents produce about 80,000 tonnes of food waste every year, with treatment and disposal costs in the region of £6.7 million. Just think about all the energy, water and packaging used in food production, transportation and storage that goes to waste when we throw away good food.

For advice on planning your shopping, portion control, recipe ideas and more, visit www.lovefoodsurrey.com where you can also sign up to our regular e-newsletter.