What can you do to waste less food?

9 May 2017 by
First published: 13 May 2017

We all know it would make the world a better place, but what can you do to waste less food?

In this day and age, we’re all becoming far better at taking care of the environment. We’re aware of the effects of global warming, we recycle and many people are opting to cycle rather than drive. We have a long way to go, but overall it’s fair to say that the majority of us rightfully think it’s important to look after the planet and the people who live on it.

That being said, there are still many ways in which we can improve. Food waste is something that’s so easy to avoid and yet is still a very common problem in our society.

Up until recently, the law dictated that food had to be destroyed at midnight on the day of its use-by date. However, foods such as supermarket sandwiches are often OK to eat a few days after the use-by date. This means that huge amounts of food was previously going to waste when it could have been used to feed the homeless and others in need.

Fortunately, there has been a breakthrough that has the potential to make a huge impact in the battle against food waste. The British Sandwich & Food to Go Association (BSA) has conducted research into the way in which the food industry can reduce waste, arguing that foods deemed healthy to eat after the use-by date by the retailers should be relabelled and donated to those in need.

The BSA has now made an agreement with government agencies to make sure that this new initiative goes ahead, which will potentially save up to 2,000 tonnes of food going to waste per year. This will have an incredibly beneficial impact in the long run, feeding thousands of people every year who would otherwise go without enough food.

Jim Winship, director of the BSA, made a statement about the new regulations being put into place in collaboration with government agencies: ‘We created the change by questioning the interpretation of legislation with the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Food & Rural Affairs [Defra]. As a result, new guidance has been produced under the BSA’s primary authority with Slough Borough Council, which sets new rules nationally for making donations.’

The agreement that’s been made between the BSA and Government agencies is currently predominantly focused on sandwiches and other food-to-go products. However, the agreement could expand across the food industry to make an even bigger difference to people’s lives in the future.

We also have the potential to make a change by becoming more aware of the quantity of food we all waste as individuals on a daily basis. When you cook, refrigerate your leftovers for a later date or use a bin specifically for food waste so that you can ensure your food is being properly recycled. Small tweaks can make a massive difference, so start minimising your food waste today.