Did you know that the average UK household wastes £470 worth of food each year? I am definitely guilty of being part of this issue.
Unless you’re composting your food waste, you’re likely putting it all in your regular bin. In my local area we have three bins, the grey bin for general waste, the brown for recycling, and the green for garden waste. We can also request a food waste bin, which I only found out about THIS WEEK! I’m not sure why everyone isn’t automatically given one of these, but you can find out about yours by googling: food waste collection service (name of your council e.g. Sefton, Liverpool).
I have always put my food waste in to the grey bin, and have recently discovered it all ends up in landfill where it can not biodegrade. The compostable straws I sometimes use also won’t biodegrade in landfill either. Nor will anything else that would otherwise naturally biodegrade. It all just stays there, forever…
Admittedly, I have been of the opinion that being vegan was enough. I’ve done my bit and it’s up to everyone else to catch up. Once people realised that animal agriculture and their overconsumption of meat and dairy was destroying our planet, then things would start to get better. And to be fair this is true, you can’t claim to be an environmentalist if you eat beef burgers. However, that doesn’t mean I’ve done all I can and that I should just sit back and let everyone else catch up. I still have a lot of work to do.
My current goal is to reduce my food waste. It’s taken a lot of energy for that bag of spinach, or my favourite sweet potatoes, or those delicious Spanish oranges to reach my kitchen table. If I don’t eat them or use them in some way then all that energy has been wasted. From the seed being planet, the orange tree to grow and the individual orange to form, to the orange be harvested, transported and distributed, sold and eventually bought by me. What a lot of effort if I leave them to go off and throw it away for it to end up in landfil and stay there forever for my children or grandchildren to deal with (or maybe our current generation if things keep declining as fast as they are doing). And if you do eat meat and you throw out that pork, just remember that not only did all that energy get wasted (included the added stages of the food made for the pig to eat!) but also a life ended for NO REASON.
This isn’t supposed to be a depressing post, but one to get you to think about what food items you throw away this week. Live simply: cook simple yet delicious meals, don’t be overambitious with what you can achieve in the kitchen this week. And be mindful of the energy taken for each item of food to reach your hungry belly.
My current goal: to keep track of what and how much food I’m throwing away! For the next week I’m going to keep score of what food items end up in my bin!