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Surplus food – don’t bin it!

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.

We can all make our own contribution by what we do at home and EcoFrenzy gives you plenty of ideas on our website to help. On a larger scale there is an ever increasing army of people and organisations working hard to stop the massive amount waste coming from supermarkets and other large food outlets. Just search ‘surplus food’ online to see what they are up to.

Some are small local organisations (such as Gatehouse in Bury St Edmunds), others are national such as Fareshare, an organisation that takes surplus good food and redistributes it around the country where it is used by partner charities to help feed those who need it. They provide millions of free meals every year.

Another really exciting concept is called Olio. They have a mobile app which connects neighbours with each other and local businesses to exchange edible surplus food. A bit like freecycle but for food only – just brilliant!

There are many different ideas to help reduce food waste and one we particularly like is Bestbefore. Encouraging us to hang on to food approaching or past its ‘best before’ date, they also sell food which has gone beyond its ‘best before’ date. Many foods such as pasta and tinned food can go months or even years beyond these dates without any fear of harm. Check them out.

This is one not for the faint hearted! There is currently a craze called ‘skip diving’, this is where people go through the skips at the back of supermarkets where they dump surplus food. Much of it is still fine to eat, however watch out as the supermarkets are not very keen on this practice.

Check your local area, you will most likely find lots of ideas to help reduce food waste and you may even be lucky enough to find a restaurant using surplus food as their key ingredients!

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