As many families across the UK tighten their belts in preparation for Christmas, new research by My Family Club reveals that six in 10 (57%) households are still throwing away food unnecessarily, despite being on a tight household budget.
The main reason for throwing away food was that it had exceeded the best before date, with nearly five in 10 (45%) families stating that they throw away food because it was after the best before date despite watching the pennies each month. This regular food wastage in the UK is leading to an annual waste bill of GBP 680 per family, according to WRAP.
Leading Chef Jamie Oliver states that it is very important to understand the difference between best before dates and use-by dates so families don’t throw away edible food unnecessarily. Top tips for how to make your food go further The research carried out among 1,700 households, shows that the majority of families on average spend between GBP 50 – 100 each week on groceries. Despite tough times and savvier shopping, families are still throwing away food on a weekly basis with three in 10 (30%) of households attributing their food waste to their children not eating all their food at mealtimes and then throwing away the left overs.
Interestingly 84% of British families still indulge in a Sunday Roast on a weekly basis (which is great news for family bonding), WRAP research reveals that the average British family wastes a staggering 5.8 kg of meat, potatoes and vegetables, equating to 1.8 billion Sunday roast meals each year. This is the equivalent to each family in the UK throwing seventy roast dinners into the dustbin every year – or one every five is days.
The research by MyFamilyClub also revealed that eight in 10 families (88%) would like to see more food waste education delivered in schools and pre-schools to help tackle the problem of the countries food waste with nine out of ten (95%) families wishing to see the major supermarkets helping more by working together to combat food waste.
Gemma Johnson, CEO and Founder of MyFamilyClub.co.uk said: “Our research shows that families are throwing away food on a weekly basis despite being their household budgets being squeezed. At MyFamilyClub we want to help families embrace leftovers as throwing away food isn’t ideal for the family finances or for the environment we are bringing our children up in. If we can encourage families to get savvy with their left overs and make small steps like a well-stocked store-cupboard and meal planning the benefits will be obvious. Who doesn’t want to benefit from saving up to GBP 680 per year (£50+ per month) whilst doing your bit for the environment. For more information on embracing left overs and meal planning please visit www.myfamilyclub.co.uk
“My Family Club has undertaken this research as part of its involvement in IGD’s Working on Waste campaign – a food and grocery industry wide campaign to help employees in the industry reduce their household food waste and save money. For more information see www.igd.com/workingonwaste *WRAP Research Stats Household food and drink waste in the UK 2012 Please see latest information regarding dates from Love Food Hate Waste – Infographic: