New recipe for every day of the week and tempeh in ten different ways - sounds pretty delicious and fun to us! We love experimenting with different recipes and surprising our taste buds on a regular basis. However, in addition to providing people with recipe inspiration and tempeh-ting (see what we did there) food photography and products, we feel it’s important to also talk about other, not-so-fun, food topics. Although variety is the spice of life, it doesn’t mean we should forget about last night’s leftovers or all the other ingredients we already have hiding in our fridges and pantries.
Why is it so important to show love to leftovers, wilted veggies, stale bread, half-eaten jars of condiments and to those opened bags of pasta? We’re glad you asked. Food waste is no minor issue but comes with a host of problems. For instance, according to FAO (The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) if food waste was a country it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world after the US and China. FAO has estimated that every year approximately 1/3 of the food produced in the world for human consumption gets lost or wasted - that’s roughly 1.3 billion tonnes of food. Now, these figures are anything but pretty!
Moreover, when we throw away food, we’re not just wasting the food that is in front of us but we’re wasting all the precious resources that went into growing that food and getting it onto the shop shelves. So, when we’re binning leftovers, overripe bananas or herbs that have seen better days, we’re also throwing away, for instance, the water, land, labour and energy that went into producing the food. And don’t even get us started on the wasted transportation miles!
Of course, food waste occurs throughout the supply chain and there is only so much households can do. However, let’s take a look at some stats by WRAP (The Waste and Resources Action Programme) regarding household food waste. According to WRAP, in the UK, approx. 70% of food waste (post farm gate) occurs at the household level and in 2015 UK households threw away 7.1 million tonnes of food. Of the 7.1 million tonnes wasted, 70% (5 million tonnes) was edible. Additionally, the amount of edible food that gets thrown away (5 million tonnes) is worth approximately £15 billion. That’s nearly £70 per month for an average family with children. Those are some staggering stats...They sure made us rummage through our fridges and cupboards checking if they contain foods that need to be consumed asap. Food waste is a serious issue but let’s not despair! We can all help out by making sure we don’t buy more than we can chew and by giving a lot of love to leftovers and veggies that are past their prime. For instance, overripe bananas make delicious banana bread, wilted veggies are perfect for stir-fries and stale bread can be turned into croutons. Also, befriend the freezer - that superstar is like a time capsule!
If you want to take it up a notch, there are some awesome companies out there that prove that tackling food waste can be easy, fun and delicious. Going on a long holiday but got a fridge and pantry full of food? Don’t stress but share the food via food-sharing app Olio so that others can enjoy it. Fancy trying something new but there’s nothing but a light in the fridge? Keep calm and check out what Too Good To Go has to offer. These waste warriors make it possible for you to rescue delicious food from restaurants, stores and cafes at a fraction of the normal cost. Want to increase the amount and variety of veggies you eat? Easy peasy! Head to OddBox website to see if they deliver to your area. This cool, good gang rescues seasonal surplus fruits and veggies directly from farms, and delivers the beautiful produce to homes and offices around London. Want to get physical? Say no more. Sign up to volunteer with Feedback’s Gleaning Network and help these food-waste heroes rescue fresh, surplus fruit and veg from farms where it would otherwise be wasted, and get it to good causes.
As mentioned before, food waste is no small issue so let’s try our hardest to ensure food ends up in bellies, not bins. Good rule of thumb is: Love food, hate waste. As a company, we strive to apply this principle in all our activities, too. Are we perfect? No. Are we trying to do better and better? Absolutely yes. Summa summarum, let’s enjoy new dishes and recipes but love the leftovers and wrinkly veggies, too. Bon appétit!