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Are you throwing away good money?

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A report has shown that UK households are still throwing away 20 per cent of edible food.

Figures from the Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP) show there was an estimated 7.2 million tonnes of household food waste in the UK during 2010 worth £12bn.

The research was based on 90 local authorities who found 60 per cent of food purchased could have been eaten rather than wasted.

Even though there has been a 13 per cent improvement in households, by people taking more care while shopping and supermarkets introducing smaller portions such as half-loaves of bread, there is still £680 worth of food being wasted.

The main types of food that are being thrown away are generally fruit, vegetables, dairy products, meat and bread which can go off quickly.

However food was being thrown away which hadn’t gone off and was still good enough to eat.

The blame has been put on supermarkets giving shoppers deals on fruit and vegetables therefore they are buying too much and then throwing it away.

Celebrity chefs have also been criticised for encouraging people to cook meals that have a host of ingredients including fresh produce which can go off quickly.

The Government have stepped in and said the real reason for food waste within households is because of the confusion that comes with labels on packets, sell by, display, best before and use by dates are what people are looking at.

They have therefore put forward a proposal for fewer labels to be put on food. By using just a use by date; it will stop people getting confused thinking food has gone off when it is still fresh.

The Campaign Against Food Waste will be holding a ‘feeding the 5,000’ event in Trafalgar Square on Friday 18th November 2011 to highlight the issues of wasted food.

It invites 5,000 members of the general public to a free hot lunch which will be made up of the ingredients which would have been wasted such as imperfect fruit that looks bad but it still good enough to eat.

To promote the event well known chefs Thomasina Miers, Valentine Warner and Arthur Potts Dawson will be cooking the hot meals.

The reduction in food waste has helped to save £80 million, however the Government and WRAP are encouraging more homeowners to minimise their waste to save money for themselves and to better the economy.

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By Amanda Bainbridge