British households are wasting almost five million tonnes of edible food a year, study finds

By Staff

This is costing the nation a whopping £17 billion annually – or £1,000 for an average family of four – on good food that ends up in the bin

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Gino D’Acampo celebrates shoppers buying loose fruit and veg

A typical household of four wastes as much as £1,000 a year – by throwing out food that is perfectly edible, according to research. Every year, a whopping 4.7 million tonnes of good food goes to waste across the UK, costing shoppers £17 billion altogether.

And the food item most likely to be binned is the humble spud – with almost three million whole potatoes disposed of in the UK every day.

But this waste could be reduced by at least 11% if potatoes were just sold loose, instead of pre-packaged, the findings estimated.

And to encourage shoppers to opt for loose fruit and veg, rather than packaged, celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo has teamed up with Love Food Hate Waste, during Food Waste Action Week – to celebrate those who made this choice.

The entertaining clip shows unsuspecting shoppers picked up on “Veggie Cam”, as they opted for produce without packaging.

Once an item of loose produce was placed in a customer’s basket, the TV favourite popped up and grabbed them for a dance – to a reworked version of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”, dubbed “Single Veggies”.

Gino encouraged them to get up close and personal with their fruits and veg, sniffing oranges and picking out the right sized potato for what they need.

He said: “Finding out just how much food ends up in the bin really shocked me, so I’m joining Love Food Hate Waste to show some love to “All the Single Veggies” this Food Waste Action Week.

“As a passionate chef, there’s nothing I love more than choosing the best produce for those I’m cooking for. Being able to pick out just what I need for each dish I make – it can’t be beaten. Saving food, saving money, and getting the best out of your cooking. What could be better?”

With most retailers selling some loose fruit and veg – such as potatoes, carrots, and apples – Love Food Hate Waste is both looking to help retailers sell more fruit and veg loose, and calling on everyone to choose loose whenever they can.

Jackie Bailey, senior campaign manager at Love Food Hate Waste, said: “This Food Waste Action Week we want to help people to choose what they’ll use, and avoid costly waste.

“By releasing “All the Single Veggies” with Gino, we’re showing people the many benefits of loose in terms of slashing food and plastic waste, saving families money, and dramatically reducing environmental impact.

“But right now, the options for loose are limited, so we need changes in the fresh produce aisle and shopper habits to really nail this problem.”

Gino D’Acampo added: “It’s so easy to click into autopilot when we’re out shopping – but today’s report shows just how wasteful this habit can be when it comes to buying bulk packs of fruit and veg.

“Stepping away from the pre-packed produce, and choosing what you’ll actually use, will not only help tackle our food waste, but it will also help save money. And the best bit? You’ll have the perfect ingredients for your favourite dishes, just the way you like them.”

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