How much of your food waste is avoidable?

Fyne Future's composting area at Bute Produce.
Fyne Future's composting area at Bute Produce.

An estimated 400 tonnes of food waste leaves Bute homes for destination landfill. Amazingly around 20 percent is food and drink we haven’t consumed. That’s on average £450 worth per year for a family of four.

Many of us believe we are not wasteful, that we budget well, that we eat as much of what we buy as possible and that we are good at making the most of what we have.

However, because we just chuck it in a bucket with the rest of our household rubbish, the amount we waste in food isn’t easily calculated or seen.

Half of the food we waste has been sitting in the fridge, cupboard or fruit bowl and is thrown away because we don’t use it in time. Another third is from leftovers, when we prepare, cook or serve more than we eat.

All of this is avoidable waste and that makes it a good opportunity to reduce that waste to zero.

Everyday pressures don’t help! Busy lives can mean that food shopping is squeezed in with no time for planning what we will buy, this sometimes means we don’t always eat what we buy. We might stock up to make sure we always have something in, or in case people drop by, and so food gets left over and not used. We might love food but lack the right knowledge or skills and end up buying too much for the recipes we fancy cooking or don’t get the storage right.

We might just see cooking as a chore, so aren’t motivated to do things differently. The good news is, if you are ready to love food and hate waste, there is lots of help available.

Fyne Futures recommends two online sites: www.lovefoodhatewaste.com for all things foody – lots of information for householders and businesses, and www.greenerscotland.org which has great tips on food waste and other green topics to reduce your household bills and help the environment.

Some food waste is unavoidable such as egg shells, peelings from fruit and vegetables or coffee grouts and tea bags.

If you have a bit of outside space, these are easily compostable. You can also buy a compost bin for a reasonable price or easily make your own.

Bute Produce offer Master Composter training for anyone looking to create high quality compost to add to their gardening skills or shorter workshops to help you get going.

Give the team a bell on 01700 503181 for further details - they’d be happy to offer help and advice.

>> For more information on the work and services offered by Fyne Futures, visit their website at www.fynefutures.org.uk.