Food waste action week is 6-12 March. It is a Love Food Hate Waste (LFHW) campaign which dedicates a whole week to show simple changes you can make to reduce food waste saving you time and money. Food waste has a significant impact on climate change. WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) states that ‘4.5 million tonnes of edible food is thrown away each year by UK households. Shockingly, 25% of this wasted food is due to cooking, preparing or serving too much - this costs UK households £3.5 billion each year.’ The main benefit for reducing food waste is that it will save you money. The less food you waste the less you would have to buy.

Our tips for reducing food waste:

  • Check out Love Food Hate Waste website where they have lots of tips on how to store different ingredients
  • Set your fridge below 5 degrees – this helps keep food fresh for longer!
  • Check the dates on food, understand what best before date and use by dates mean with this handy guide.

To help you reduce your food waste here are 3 free apps you can use:

  • Nosh - the app enables the users to track the expiry date of food items along with the user's buying and food waste habits, which enable the user to make an informed decision on what items to buy or not to buy. The user can plan their shopping in-app before they go out to buy the items. The user is also able to get recipe suggestions on the stocked items so they can utilise the items better before they expire.
  • Too Good to Go - the Too Good To Go app lets customers buy and collect Magic Bags of this food - at a great price - directly from businesses.
  • Olio – this is a sharing app for passing on things you no longer need to people who live nearby

What we do as a university to reduce food waste?

In all units at Essex food they log and keep track of the amount of food waste that is produced. Any food waste produced by the kitchen gets recycled into a food waste bin. This is collected and taken to an anaerobic digester which creates two products: a biogas which gets sent to the national grid for electricity and a compost which farmers can use on their fields. When food is reaching it’s sell by date it is reduced in price to reduce likelihood of it being wasted. Essex Food cooks your food to order and uses a clever menu design to keep their food waste at a minimum. By taking these steps the amount of food wasted in outlets has been reduced by about 15%.

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