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Avoid food waste this Christmas

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

So the nice people at sent me this very powerful infographic about food waste in the home and it got me thinking. Why are we so wasteful at Christmas and what can we do about it? Here are some thoughts...

Apparently, current estimates put global food waste between one-third and one-half of all food that is produced – and it is a particularly big problem around the Christmas period, when most of us are over indulging and have eyes bigger than our bellies.

Every year, households in the UK throw away the equivalent to 4.2 million Christmas dinners. A study has revealed that the food we leave on our plates on December 25th will add up to to 17.2 million brussels sprouts, 11.9 million carrots and 11.3 million roast potatoes – to put that into perspective, the sprouts alone would fill 1,000 wheelie bins!

Whether it’s because we struggle calculating how much we will need to feed our family and friends for the annual Christmas feast, or we just like to over-indulge, throwing away 4.2 million of perfectly good Christmas dinners is a staggering waste. Did you know it would take the average family nearly 4 days to eat all of their food bought just for Christmas day?

So what can we do to reduce food waste and save money this Christmas

  1.  Shop smartly

Make a shopping list and stick to it. Remember to check what ingredients you already have in the cupboards before leaving the house, and rather than filling your trolley with piles of food, only buy the ingredients for the meal you’ll be cooking.

2.   Think about portion sizes

This is one area where I am particularly guilty, especially at Christmas. It’s too easy to just pile the food on the plate without any thought! Try and work out the portion sizes for your family before you do your Christmas shop. You might even find you spend less because you’re buying less food than you usually do. Supermarkets are notorious for their competing offers over the Christmas period. They will put on mouth-watering offers to encourage you to shop at their store – but before you take them up on the offer, ask yourself, although that 2 for 1 deal on spuds does sound amazing, are you really going to eat them all? In my opinion, it’s much better to spend your money on great-quality food rather than going in for the bargains.  It’s only a real bargain if you definitely need it!

  1. Go against tradition

If there is something on the Christmas menu that nobody really likes, why not leave it out this year? It could save some of the 17.2 million brussel sprouts from the waste disposal.  Am I the only person in the UK who loves sprouts?  I would eat them all year round if I could

  1. Do something tasty with the leftovers

Admit it, we all get fed up of turkey sandwiches after Christmas! So why not try more adventurous recipes to use up all those leftovers? Doesn’t a leftover turkey casserole or a creamy turkey stroganoff sound better than a dry turkey sandwich?  This recipe for Easy Chicken Philadelphia pie would work just as well with cooked turkey!  You can also use the turkey carcass to make a great stock for soups.

So whether it’s mulled wine, mince pies or turkey, it’s important not to overbuy this Christmas. Don’t let this Christmas be a wasteful one!  Note to self- pay heed to this post and shop more wisely!


The infographic from


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