The average British family bins 745lbs /338kgs of left-over food every year – with Chinese takeaways and roast dinners the most common dishes, a study revealed recently (April 2013).
Research carried out among 2,000 adults found oversize portions from Chinese restaurants account for a large chunk of the staggering waste, along with uneaten meat, potatoes and vegetables from the popular Sunday meal.
Parents over-estimating quantities and fussy kids turning their nose up at meals also contributed to the incredible figure. In fact the study showed as many as six in ten families regularly fail to finish everything on their plates, so end up scraping the left-overs into a waste bin.
Yesterday a spokesman for food waste disposal firm InSinkErator, said: ‘’Throwing away the odd bit of food from each meal might not seem like a lot, but when you add that up over a week or year, it’s a staggering amount.
‘’Not only is it horrible to see how much food gets wasted, but if you think of how much you spend buying that food in the first place, it can be quite unsettling.
‘’But it’s interesting to see that Chinese takeaway is one of the main meals we throw away. Many people order too much and end up struggling to eat it all.
‘’If you or members of your family find it difficult to clear their plate and your food waste bin is bulging, cooking less will not only mean you end up saving yourself money but you won’t have to deal with messy job of throwing the food waste away.’’
The study found that the average household will throw away 6.5 kilograms of food waste every week – a total of 338 kilograms a year. And of that, almost a fifth is made up of leftovers and cooked food that has gone uneaten – the equivalent of around three full plates of food each week.
Sixty per cent of Brits admitted they don’t always eat everything that is put in front of them with another 70 per cent saying they usually have to scrape uneaten food off their children’s plates as well.
Almost one in three said they leave food because they have simply put too much on their plate while another 19 per cent don’t like the taste of what is put in front of them. And when it comes to children, 41 per cent leave something because they are too fussy to eat it.
Almost one in ten youngsters also refuses to eat food that has been burnt or overcooked. Roast dinner scraps was named the most common leftover food to end up in the bin, followed by Chinese takeaway scraps and pasta bakes. Other popular meals which often end up in the rubbish include fish and chips, stir-fry and risotto.
The study also found that 46 per cent of Brits admitted they worry about the amount of food they throw away with another 56 per cent concerned about the cost. Despite this, 55 per cent admit they know they often cook too much food for their family.
It also emerged 62 per cent of Brits think dealing with food waste is one of the most unhygienic and disliked jobs in the kitchen. And 56 per cent see dealing with the food waste nothing but an inconvenience.
A spokesman for InSinkErator added: ‘’It is incredible how much we leave on our plates, and how it all adds up. As they say as soon as you start to measure it, then you can start to do something about it; so many of us have no idea of the amount of left over food we throw away.
Unsurprisingly, most of us hate the messy business of binning left overs! It is disgusting, dirty, an inconvenience and very unhygienic. However, there is a very easy solution that rids us of this much hated task – fit a food waste disposer. They deal with all food left-overs very quickly and easily without any fuss; they are incredibly hygienic. It releases more space in the kitchen too…one less bin to find a home for, and you never have the inconvenience of going outside to bin it either. It’s a very responsible way to dispose of left overs, and has a positive impact on reducing food waste going to landfill sites and therefore improving our carbon footprint.
Installing a food waste disposer not only increases hygiene in the kitchen, but saves time, minimising trips to an outside bin, and you are doing your bit for the environment too.
Top ten most common meals to throw away
For information on InSinkErator® products, telephone 01923 297880.