Save money and the environment
FOOD: On average, 30% (8.3 million tonnes) of food is thrown away in the UK every year, a massive £700 per household. If we all help stop this outrageous waste, the CO₂ reduction would be the equivalent to taking 1 in 4 cars off the road. In comparison, the USA throws out food to the value of $161 billion each year, that’s more than the GDP of many small countries. EcoFrenzy give ideas on how to cut food bills and waste, helping you save money and the environment.
Things to look for Before shopping
Online supermarkets and voucher websites can offer great deals, e.g. £15 off a £50 spend. Have a look at VoucherCloud, MyVoucherCodes or MoneySavingExpert.
Before making a list, check your cupboards and fridge to see if the ‘Use By’ date on any food has expired. If it has, it could be dangerous to eat, so throw it away and buy new. If the 'Best Before' date has expired don't worry, that is only a manufacturer's guideline. For more information on labels see the ‘Food Labels’ section below.
Large stores are a minefield for the unwary shopper. Supermarkets spend a fortune on marketing campaigns to lure you into spending more than you want or can afford.
This helps reduce plastic pollution (85% fewer single use bags in the UK since the introduction of the charge) and save yourself 5p per bag.
Before you go shopping, look at your budget and ask “What can I afford?” so you know how much to spend before you even leave home.
Try using comparison sites and apps such as ‘My Supermarket’ to compare the cost of products across the various supermarkets.
Pre-planning is a good way to shop efficiently, save money and free up precious leisure time.
Keep a list of foodstuffs noting what you run out of to save doubling up on ingredients. If you are in a rush, take a photo of your fridge or cupboard(s).
How many unused jars are in your cupboards or fridge? Only buy jams, marmalades, pickles, mustards, etc when you are running out.
If you go food shopping when hungry, you will inevitably buy more than you need, or buy packs of your favourite naughty snacks and eat them all before you arrive home. We’ve all done it!
Save £££'s When shopping (whilst making good environmental decisions)
Move down one product level e.g. Premium to Branded, Branded to Own Brand, or Own Brand to Value. Just remember when buying animal products, this may come at a cost to animal welfare! If you drop a brand level on everything you buy and you'll usually cut the bill by about 30%. If a family's weekly shop is £100 then that's a saving of £1,560 a year. Even if you only drop half the brands, that's still a saving of £780 a year.
If you spot a yellow sticker discount on an item you need - fantastic - buy it and use it quickly as it's a saving on perfectly good food that is nearly out of date! Reduction times vary by store/opening time, yet some definite patterns emerge. The first yellow stickers appear around 10am, and the silly-price reductions begin at 7pm, when stores cut prices by 75% and upwards.
The chart below shows the rough times five of the top supermarkets schedule their reductions. But remember, don't just buy an item because it's reduced. It's only a bargain if you need it!
There are local specialists and even an online store, Approved Food, which specialise in food that is either near or just passed its 'Best Before' date. Approved Food has a minimum £5.99 delivery charge, so it's worth bulk-buying. There are no finite rules on how far beyond a ‘best before date’ it's still safe to eat products, so you need to make the decision yourself.
It's possible to get big discounts from online supermarkets by simply leaving the (virtual) shop. When you don't complete an order, they often email you a discount as a way to entice you back to make a purchase. To try it, pop something in your basket, without buying. You may well find a discount code or offer lands in your email inbox within a few days. Make sure to then sign back into your online account or they won't know who you are.
This way you buy only what's on their list and your friend buys only what you need, and nothing more.
If you ever go to the supermarket and find that an item on sale is sold out, you can ask for a 'raincheck' voucher. Normally this is some kind of rebate or coupon to make up for them not having the stock. Most of the time it is at the store manager's discretion, but don't be afraid to ask at the customer service desk.
If you purchase unwrapped (pre-packaged) produce such as fruit and vegetables from the supermarket, you reduce packaging and can save money (the price per kg is often less for loose produce).
Think “do I really need it?” before you buy something.
Buying in bulk means less cost, less packaging, and fewer trips to the supermarket or shop, which reduces your CO₂ imprint and lowers your petrol consumption (if you drive). Just make sure you will use what you purchase.
Check the cost per kg / lb / gram / ml on each item to make sure you are paying the lowest price. This figure is often shown on the price sticker on the supermarket shelf, not on the product itself.
These are deliberately put near the till to give stores one last attempt to grab your cash as impulse buys.
The most profitable products for the supermarket are those placed at eye level. These are often the worst deals for shoppers, so look on the high and low shelves for the best deals.
Avoid the tasty (but often expensive) tempting treats dotted around supermarkets. Try not to be seduced by the end of aisle bargains, you probably don’t need them.
You can save money and you will improve your health at the same time.
If possible, go shopping on your own. Children can be a big distraction and you may find you've been persuaded to add a whole heap of extras to your shopping trolley.
It can save money and reduce your CO₂ imprint due to lower production and transportation costs.
Buy smaller portions of produce that goes off to prevent excess waste. For example, if you are continually throwing out mouldy bread then buy smaller loaves.
These may well come from the same factory as ‘Brands’! Take a look at supermarketownbrandguide.co.uk for a whole range of ideas.
Check out Supermarket coupons at moneysavingexpert.com they give you a whole range of coupons to help you save money.
If you are buying food that goes off quickly, don’t be seduced by Buy One Get One Free (BOGOF) offers. That extra pack may just end up in the bin.
There is often a section in your supermarket where they sell products that have slightly damaged packaging or are close to the ‘sell by’ date. Only buy if you really need the item!
If you are buying from a local farmer or farmers market, the fruit and veg may be the 'wrong' shape but they still taste the same (or most probably better) than the perfect shaped products from supermarkets (who mostly plough imperfectly shaped, but perfectly edible, produce back into the ground).
Buy from local suppliers such as farmers, farmers markets or a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Co-op to find bargains.
Try to pick items with the least packaging to help reduce the world packaging/plastic pollution problem. If not possible at least make sure the packaging is made from recyclable material and can be recycled.
Instead make them yourself, at home. Cooking using fresh ingredients means you know exactly what is going in to your food, and, if you're diligent about sourcing it, where it came from. This option also cuts out steps of your food's lifecycle (and the associated energy in processing and transportation that comes from each step). It's also often a healthier and cheaper option.
Schemes such as ‘Nectar’ or a ’Tesco Clubcard’ offer very little 'reward'. Using a Nectar card you receive 1 point for every £1 spent - 500 points are worth £2.50 to spend in-store, or sometimes more when turned into rewards to spend at restaurants or days out. 1 point is worth 0.5 pence, which means you have to spend £200 for every £1 you get back. You could save a lot more money on just a few items by using ‘My Supermarket’ and making genuine savings.
Attractive treats are often displayed near store entrances, sometimes below cost price to entice us in. Similarly signs and displays are used to promote deals, even when they're not actually available elsewhere in store.
Bright colours (especially red and yellow) and the words ‘Discount’ or ‘Sale’ or ‘Half Price’ make us feel good, yet the reduction may be only pennies and cheaper equivalents are hidden elsewhere (especially on lower shelves).
In February 2013, Which? investigated the price of 700,000 items on sale at the five big supermarkets and found some special offers were more expensive than products not on offer. Always compare the cost of each item, per kg / lb / gram or litre.
Supermarkets make sure there are yummy smells (such as baking bread) in their stores. This type of aroma is intended to make you feel hungry so you are more likely to buy more food, increasing the supermarket's profits.
Understanding Food labels
What are food labels for?
Food labels provide a wide range of information about foods. But understanding all of that information is important if we are to make use of it. For example, if a food product is labelled "light" or "lite" or has "no added sugar" what does this mean?
There are rules that food manufacturers must follow to prevent false claims or misleading descriptions, and there are clear guidelines on what labels on packets can and can't show. Below we explain some of the more common labelling terms.
‘Use by’ date
You will see "Use by" dates on food that goes off quickly, such as smoked fish, meat products and ready-prepared salads, and mainly refer to safety.
This label is aimed at consumers as a directive of the date by which the product should be eaten. Don't use any food or drink after the end of the "use by" date on the label, even if it looks and smells fine. This is because using it after this date could put your health at risk.
For the "Use by" date to be a valid guide, you must follow storage instructions such as "Keep in a refrigerator". If you don't follow these instructions, the food will spoil more quickly and you may risk food poisoning.
Once a food with a "Use by" date on it has been opened, you also need to follow any instructions such as "Eat within three days of opening".
But remember, if the "Use by" is tomorrow, then you must use the food by the end of tomorrow, even if the label says "eat within a week of opening" and you have only opened the food today.
If a food can be frozen its life can be extended beyond the "Use by" date. But make sure you follow any instructions on the pack, such as "Cook from frozen" or "defrost thoroughly before use and use within 24 hours".
"Use by" dates are the most important date to consider, as these relate to food safety and your health.
‘Best before’ date
‘Best before’ dates appear on a wide range of frozen, dried, tinned and other foods.
‘Best before’ dates are about quality, not safety. When the date is passed, it doesn't mean that the food will be harmful, but it might begin to lose its flavour and texture.
Every year in the UK we throw away 8.3m tonnes of food and drink, most of which could have been eaten. So think carefully before throwing away food past its ‘Best before’ date.
Remember, the ‘Best before’ date will only be accurate if the food is stored according to the instructions on the label, such as ‘Store in a cool dry place’ or ‘Keep in the fridge once opened’.
‘Display until’ and ‘Sell by’ dates
Retailers often use ‘Sell by’ and ‘Display until’ dates on their shelves, mainly for stock control purposes. These aren't required by law and are instructions for shop staff, not for shoppers.
The important dates for you to look for are the ‘Use by’ and ‘Best before’ dates.
Food packaging often makes health claims for the food, such as, “helps maintain a healthy heart”, or “helps aid digestion’.
Since 2007, specific rules have been put in place to help prevent misleading claims. Any claims made about the nutritional and health benefits of a food must be based on science. Only claims the European Commission has approved can be used on food packaging.
General claims about benefits to overall good health, such as “healthy” or “good for you”, are only allowed if accompanied by an approved claim. This means that these claims must be backed up by an explanation of why the food is “healthy”.
Labels are not allowed to claim that food can treat, prevent or cure any disease or medical condition. These sorts of claims can only be made for licensed medicines.
‘Light’ or ‘Lite’ foods
To say that a food is ‘light’ or ‘lite’, it must be at least 30% lower in at least one typical value, such as calories or fat, than standard products.
The label must explain exactly what has been reduced and by how much, for example ‘light: 30% less fat’.
To get the whole picture about a product and compare it properly with similar foods, you will need to take a close look at the nutrition label. The easiest way to compare products is to look at the information per 100g.
You may be surprised at how little difference there is between foods that carry claims and those that don't. A ‘light’ or ‘lite’ version of one brand of crisps may contain the same amount of fat or calories as the standard version of another brand.
Those tempting biscuits that claim to be ‘light on fat’ can have more calories than you think, so always check the label carefully.
‘Low fat’ labelling
A claim that a food is low in fat may only be made where the product contains no more than:
‘No added sugar’ labelling
‘No added sugar’ or ‘Unsweetened’ refer to sugar or sweeteners that are added as ingredients. They do not mean that the food contains no sugar.
The ingredients lists on food products with ‘No added sugar’ and ‘Unsweetened’ labels will tell you what ingredients have been used, including what types of sweetener and sugar. You can often find information about how much sugar there is in the food in the nutrition label.
This usually means that the food has not had sugar added to it as an ingredient.
A food that has ‘No added sugar’ might still taste sweet and can still contain sugar.
Sugars occur naturally in food such as fruit and milk. But we don't need to cut down on these types of sugar: it is food containing added refined sugars that we should be cutting down on. Both granulated sugar and high fructose corn syrup go through a refining process... they are called ‘empty calories’ because they offer no nutritional value. In addition, they are addictive and rob your body of energy and health.
Just because a food contains ‘No added sugar’, this does not necessarily mean it has a low sugar content. The food may contain ingredients that have a naturally high sugar content (such as fruit), or have added milk, which contains lactose, a type of sugar that occurs naturally in milk.
This usually means that no sugar or sweetener has been added to the food to make it taste sweet. This doesn't necessarily mean that the food will not contain naturally occurring sugars found in fruit or milk.
The ingredients in food, including additives, are listed in descending order of weight at the time they were used to make the food. If flavourings are used, the label must say so. The ingredients list must also highlight any allergens (foods that some people are allergic to), such as eggs, nuts and soya where used as ingredients.
As well as this information, there will usually also be the manufacturer's name and address, a date mark, instructions for safe storage and the weight of the product.
You often see nutrition labels on food packaging giving a breakdown of the nutritional content of the food.
Manufacturers are currently required by law to give this information if the product also makes a nutrition claim such as ‘Low fat’, or a health claim such as ‘Calcium helps build strong bones’, or if vitamins or minerals have been added to the product. Manufacturers often also give nutrition information voluntarily, and under new EU rules will be required to provide this information from December 2016, regardless of whether a nutrition or health claim has been made or vitamins or minerals have been added to the product.
When nutrition information is given on a label, as a minimum it must, under the new rules, show the amount of each of the following per 100g or 100ml of the food:
The common terms used in nutritional information are explained below:
This is the amount of energy that the food will give you when you eat it. It is measured in both kilojoules (kJ) and kilocalories (kcal), usually referred to as calories.
An average man needs around 10,500kJ (2,500kcal) a day to maintain his weight.
For an average woman, the daily figure is around 8,400kJ (2,000kcal).
There are two main types of fat found in food: saturated and unsaturated. As part of a healthy diet, we should try to cut down on food that is high in saturated fat. The nutrition label tells you how much total fat is contained in the food.
Eating too much fat can also make us more likely to put on weight because foods that are high in fat are high in energy (kJ/kcal) too. Being overweight raises our risk of serious health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as coronary heart disease.
The reference value for fat for an average adult is 70 grams.
Eating a diet that is high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in the blood. Having high cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease. As part of a healthy diet, we should try to cut down on food that is high in saturated fat.
Most of us eat too much saturated fat. Reading nutrition labels can help you cut down on saturated fat.
The reference value for saturated fat for an average adult is 20 grams.
There are two types of carbohydrates that the body turns into energy: simple and complex.
Simple carbohydrates are often listed on nutrition labels as "carbohydrates (of which sugars are part)". This includes added sugars and the natural sugars found in fruit and milk.
Complex carbohydrates are also called starchy foods. Starchy foods include potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates. Most of our energy should come from complex carbohydrates rather than those containing sugar. Try to choose higher-fibre, wholegrain varieties of starchy foods whenever you can by choosing whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, or simply leaving the skins on potatoes.
Sometimes you will only see a total figure for carbohydrates on nutrition labels. This includes the carbohydrates from complex carbohydrates and from simple carbohydrates.
Sugars occur naturally in foods such as fruit and milk, however we do not need to cut down on these types of sugars. Sugars are also added to a wide range of foods such as sweets, cakes, biscuits and chocolates, and it is these types of sugary foods that we should cut down on, as regularly consuming foods and drinks high in sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay.
Nutrition labels often tell you how much sugar a food contains. This includes added sugars (also called "free sugars") and the natural sugars found in fruit and milk. You can compare labels and choose foods that are lower in sugar.
The reference value for sugars for an average adult is 90 grams.
The reference value for carbohydrates (both complex and simple) for an average adult is 270 grams.
The body needs protein to grow and repair itself. Most adults in the UK get more than enough protein for their needs. Protein-rich foods include meat, fish, milk and dairy foods, eggs, beans, lentils and nuts.
The reference value for protein for an average adult is 45 grams.
The term "salt" on food labels includes all the sodium in a food. While most sodium comes from salt (sodium chloride), some can be naturally occurring in food. It can also come from raising agents and additives.
Too much salt can raise your blood pressure, which puts you at increased risk of health problems such as heart disease and stroke.
The reference value for salt per person per day is 6g (2.4g Sodium).
Fibres are a type of carbohydrate which do not supply glucose to the body (unlike starch and sugars). It is not digested and hence is not absorbed by the small intestine. Fibre is only found in plants and is needed to keep the digestive system healthy.
Fruit, vegetables, pulses (such as beans, chickpeas, lentils) and wholegrains are all sources of fibre.
Fibre plays many important roles:
The Guideline Daily Amount for fibre is 24 grams.
Before and during cooking
If you are regularly throwing food away, avoid buying, preparing and serving food in volumes that make over size portions which no-one can finish.
Defrost your food (either in the microwave or just by taking out of the freezer the day before use) prior to cooking and you can halve the cooking time, saving money on your energy bills.
Use a bowl when preparing your vegetables instead of washing them under a running tap and you can save about 5 litres of water each time. And after washing the veggies why not recycle the water by watering plants around your home or in the garden?
Partly cook potatoes by boiling them before roasting. By doing so you'll reduce the amount of time they take to roast in the oven.
It is so easy to overestimate portion size. Count out each part of the meal e.g. how many potatoes does each person need, a 6’8” rugby player probably needs more than your nan! If you are not happy to trust yourself take out the guesswork with the portion tool at lovefoodhatewaste.com.
Alternatively, bulk cooking is a more efficient use of appliance energy and your time, so cook up a nice big meal and then freeze or refrigerate extra portions for eating at a later date.
Reduce energy costs when cooking by turning your oven off before the end of the cooking time. Provided you don't open the door, it will stay at the same temperature for 10 minutes. You could save 5p every time you use your oven, about £10 per year, equivalent to 35kg of CO₂.
Cooking a stew in a 2kWh oven for 1 hour costs around 28p. Cooking the same stew in a slow cooker for 8 hours will use 0.7kWh, costing around 10p. Based on using a slow cooker twice a week – the savings per year would be about £19, equivalent to 64kg of CO₂.
On an electric stove, a 15cm pot used on a 20cm ring wastes more than 40% of the rings heat. This costs you an extra 13p per hour, which if you cooked on the wrong sized ring for 2 hours per week, adds up to £14 per year, equivalent to 47kg of CO₂.
If you open the door when cooking, the oven loses up to 20% of its heat and requires more energy to return to its original cooking temperature. Also, try to keep the oven door clean so you can look in to check your food rather than having to open it.
Most electric cookers are fan-assisted which helps them to evenly spread heat round the oven. This means that cooking temperatures are reduced and cooking times are speeded up.
Cookers are becoming more efficient. We recommend ovens that have an 'A' energy rating as they are the most efficient of all; hobs that carry the logo are highly energy-efficient too. A new A+ rated electric oven will consume 40 per cent less energy than a B rated oven.
Always use the correct size pan for the ring or burner you are cooking on to save energy. Put lids on pans to keep the heat in, and make sure the lids are close fitting.
Turn down the ring or burner once cooking temperature or state is reached, then simmer until food is cooked.
That way it will cook more quickly and save energy.
It is good fun and good education.
Cook as much as possible in the oven in one go to make sure all the space and heat is being used. You can always freeze portions of food to reheat at a later date.
The amount of heat that leaks out during cooking has a big impact on the energy efficiency and energy consumption of an oven.
Having a cooker that's in good working order is essential for energy-efficient cooking; it will help lower your fuel consumption and keep your gas and electricity bills down.
What to do with leftovers and packaging After a meal
Don't waste leftovers, there are many suggestions online to help you produce a hearty meal e.g. lovefoodhatewaste.com.
If you have made too much food for one meal, don’t throw it away, that's just throwing away money. Instead bag it and freeze it. For ease of use, freeze in portions, then label and date the bags or airtight containers.
Try and reuse whatever packaging you can, such as glass jars or bottles. Anything that is recyclable, put it in the appropriate bin or take it to your local re-cycling centre.
If you have inedible leftovers, peelings, food scraps or even cardboard they can all be composted either at home or you can give them to local organisations who will gladly accept them to turn them into compost.
Used cooking oil, when cool, should be poured into a sealed plastic bottle and taken to your nearest household waste recycling centre for recycling. Check with your local council for details. Do NOT pour it down the sink.
Unfortunately semi solid fat (wrapped in kitchen towel), or small amounts of used, cooled cooking oil soaked up in newspaper will have to go in your landfill bin (or food waste bin if permitted in your area).
Sink strainers will catch the smaller scraps that you might rinse off your plates, pots and pans after a meal, helping to keep your drainpipes free from blockages.
Tips to spend less on food and extend food life
If you want a glass of cold water, running a tap until the water is cold wastes about 4 litres each time. Instead, why not keep a jug of water in the fridge? This will save around 0.8 pence every time, which doesn't sound much, but add it up over a year and multiply it by the number of people living in your home.
We only need to eat meat 2/3 times per week, a more vegetarian diet is good for your health, your pocket and the environment.
Many of us don’t store our food in the best place to keep it fresh for longer. Store bread in a cupboard or bread bin, keep fruit in the fridge (but not bananas), and always store potatoes in a cool dark place.
A centimetre or two of wine left in the bottle? Freeze it and use later to add depth to a Bolognese or other sauce.
To save an open jar of pesto from going off, freeze it into cubes (in an old ice tray) for later use.
Always fold the inside bag of packets of cereal, then close the pack flaps, to prevent spoiling.
Add some sugar and lemon juice, place in the fridge and strawberries (or other soft fruit) will last another 2 days.
It takes a bit of effort but use a simple recipe and the results can be very satisfying and tasty!
If you are worried about eggs going off, an easy check is drop them into a bowl of water, if they sink they are fine, if they float don’t eat them.
Eggs have a shelf life of 28 days (from date laid to best before date). By law, eggs must reach the final consumer within 21 days from the date they have been laid. This date is known as the ‘Sell-by date’.
After this date, the quality of the egg will deteriorate and if any salmonella bacteria are present, they could multiply to high levels and could make a person ill. This means that eggs need to be delivered to the consumer at least 7 days before the ‘Best before’ date. The consumer then has seven days to use the eggs at home.
To kill any bacteria, eggs should be cooked thoroughly until both yolk and white are solid. Alternatively they can be used in dishes where they will be fully cooked, such as a cake.
Eggs can be frozen, but not in their shells. Break the egg into a bowl and beat until the yolk and egg white is blended. Put them in an airtight container, label with the date, and pop in the freezer.
Most cheeses (except soft ones like Brie or Camembert) can be frozen. Stilton should be crumbled and stored in a container. Cheddar can be grated into a sandwich bag and used direct from frozen.
When bananas start to go brown, peel and pop them in the freezer in a bag or container. They are great if you blast them in a blender, especially with cream or ice-cream for a delicious banana pudding.
Take them out of their bag and pop them into a sealable container. Add a piece of kitchen roll, click the lid shut and store in the fridge.
The Impact of food waste on Greenhouse Gases
Our food production and consumption has a large impact on greenhouse gases and consequently climate change.
8.3 million tonnes of food is thrown away by households in the UK every year. If we all stop wasting food that could have been eaten, the CO₂ reduction would be the equivalent of taking one in four cars off the road.
More locally produced products will have less transportation requirement and, therefore, less greenhouse gases associated with them.
The food system accounts for up to 40% of all UK road freight. Food miles have now risen near the top of eco-friendly food considerations because large volumes of fossil fuels are used in growing, processing, packaging, and transporting food. The fewer miles from farm to table, the better.
Organic grapes from Peru might taste good in the dead of winter, but consider the pollution caused by flying them to wherever you are. Whenever possible, Ecofrenzy recommend buying from a community supported agriculture (CSA) co-op, buying from local farmers' markets or purchasing directly from farmers themselves.
Case study: Milk
According to Tesco:
Case study: Carbon footprint of various foods
The following comes from The Carbon Footprint of Everything by Mike Berners Lee.
Case Study: Whitbread Restaurant Group reduction of carbon emissions
Food waste specialist Biogen Greenfinch ran a trial with UK hotel and restaurant group Whitbread, which estimated that food waste made up a quarter of the waste stream from its restaurants.
Twelve outlets – mainly Whitbread’s Table Table brand – were chosen for the trial. Staff were trained to segregate food waste from the general waste stream, and the collected food waste was taken to an anaerobic digester for recycling.
By the end of the trial, food waste from approximately 300 Whitbread outlets was diverted from landfill, saving over 3 million kilograms of carbon emissions.
Supermarkets and waste
Waste of edible food
In UK, we throw away 30% of all food produced. That is around 14 million tonnes / year – most is wasted through the 7 main supermarkets – and it is thought that around 4 million tonnes (29%) of this is still edible.
For example, the biggest carrot farm in the UK supplies 10% of all carrots (290 tonnes per day). They supply them as whole, sliced and diced carrots but still waste 3,000 tonnes per year due to crazy requirements from supermarkets, who will reject them due to being:
UK farmers struggling
50% of British farms are losing money – we need to return back to basics and take all product. It is the classics chicken and egg problem – supermarkets blame customers for wanting perfect product, customers and farmers blame supermarkets for demanding perfect product to give a commercial edge over competition.
Some Supermarkets will cancel orders at the last minute without any compensation to the farmer – not only is the farmer out of pocket but food already harvested for the order goes to waste, often being ploughed back into the ground.
Supermarkets claim that a lot of the surplus food goes to anaerobic digestion plants (to produce low cost, low carbon renewable energy) but a good proportion of this produce is still perfectly OK for human consumption.
To help reduce this food waste there is now a trend called ‘Skip diving’. This is finding food in supermarket bins late at night and using it to feed yourself or provide food for restaurants / cafes. This was pioneered by a not-for-profit café in Bristol called ‘Skipchen’.
EcoFrenzy has researched the market and to the best of our knowledge, figures and data are accurate at the time of publication. EcoFrenzy is not responsible for any inaccuracies and will not engage in correspondence, but will update facts and figures when necessary or appropriate.
The data we use to work out energy and water costs come from a range of reliable international sources to give an average figure. Figures are rounded up or down to the nearest whole number.
* Total amounts potentially saved do not include lighting in individual rooms, or use of secondary heating.