Average British family wastes 2.25kg of food a month

Food waste
Food waste

The average British family is wasting over TWO kgs of food every month.

The shocking figure is the result of the widespread mentality that it is ‘better to cook too much than too little’.

Researchers found seven in ten households admit throwing away too much food, often because they over-estimate portion sizes.

More than one in ten said they simply don’t have the time to weigh out ingredients before cooking them, which creates even more waste.

One in ten families also throw away up to 10 items every month because they have gone off before being used.

Overall the study found the typical family throw away 2.23kg of food every month.

Low awareness

Futurologist James Bellini, on behalf of home appliance brand Grundig who commissioned the research, said: “Given the crucial importance of food issues over the coming decades the level of general awareness and concern is surprisingly low.

“But looking ahead to the 2020s and beyond to the 2030s it seems clear that emerging technologies, changing attitudes and greater commitment within the business and political communities could spark a new era for food.

“In which tackling waste and providing healthy and wholesome eating for all in a sustainable way will move significantly up the agenda.”

Pasta and rice are the dishes that Brits most commonly prepare far too much of, followed by potatoes and fresh veg.

Four in 10 Brits say they have no idea how much pasta or rice is recommended for an adult to have with a meal - which is around 80g.

Over-guesstimates

And more than two thirds simply try and ‘guesstimate’ how much to prepare when cooking a meal with these ingredients.

On average, adults waste more than a tenth of each meal they prepare - throwing it away rather than finishing it.

And 49 per cent of the population don’t bother recycling their food waste, sending it straight to the main bin with their other rubbish.

Nearly a third don’t recycle food waste because they find the idea of a bin for rotting food off-putting.

And despite evidence to the contrary, a quarter believe they simply don’t waste enough food for a dedicated waste bin to be viable.

However, 37 per cent would be inclined to recycle more if waste could be turned into energy to power their home.

The poll of 2,000 adults revealed rather than having a wasteful mentality, almost half of the country’s careless cooks admit to preparing too much food.

Incorrectly thinking they could tell how much of an ingredient was needed just by eye was among the top reasons for Brits not knowing how much to prepare for their dinners.

Good causes

Alexandra Boon from Beko plc said: “At Grundig, our Respect Food programme spans both product development and working with partners to use surplus food for good causes.

“We believe that the fight against food waste should begin at home in the kitchen. People should not only enjoy good food but respect it too - which means wasting less.

“Advanced technologies within the Grundig refrigeration range, such as Ion Fresh, No Frost Duo-Cooling system and Vitamin Care Zone already help to keep food fresher for longer.

“We’re committed to developing brand new technologies to further reduce food waste in the home and in our UK Research & Development centre we are currently working on sensors to detect food spoilage and methods to help users track and manage their food.”

James Bellini added: “In the end, technology has an important part to play in solving our food waste crisis, but without the commitment of people to new attitudes and a changed social outlook it will not be enough.”

RECOMMENDED PORTION SIZES FOR AN ADULT

Breakfast cereal: Three tablespoons (20g)

Boiled potatoes: Two small (egg sized) boiled potatoes

Rice: Two heaped tablespoons (80g)

Pasta: Three heaped tablespoons (80g)

Lean meat: 70g cooked meat, about the size of a deck of cards

Fish: 140g cooked dish, about the size of a chequebook

Eggs: Two medium eggs

Pulses: Five tablespoons (cooked)

Hard cheese: 25g of cheddar, about the size of a small matchbox

Dried fruit: Two figs, around 40g

Dark green leafy veg: Four heaped cooked tablespoons (80g)

FOODS MOST LIKELY TO GO OFF BEFORE USE

1. Bread

2. Bananas

3. Salad leaves

4. Milk

5. Potatoes

6. Cooked meats

7. Carrots

8. Cream

9. Yoghurt

10. Apples