I hosted a dinner party on Saturday and ended up cooking lots of different dishes.
In the run-up to the dinner, I spent Thursday and Friday making several trips to the supermarkets for ingredients. Even on Saturday morning I visited the local Co-Op store as there were some essential food items I had forgotten to buy.
The family get-together went well and my guests left later in the evening fully fed. After washing up, I felt very tired and, because I had over-estimated the food portions, I ended up with a lot of leftovers, which I had to store in the fridge.
On Sunday it was Mother’s Day so I was invited round to my mum’s for a meal and didn’t have to eat anything at home. As I returned from work on Monday evening and opened the fridge, I realised I had forgotten to separate the food in Tupperware and freeze it! Much to my dismay, I ended up throwing away lots of leftovers such as lasagne, rice, pieces of chicken, garlic bread and salad, which I felt had “gone off”. Had I frozen some of this food, it would have been perfect as a “ready-meal” for another day.
I hate wasting food, especially when I’ve spent so much money buying it and there are millions of people starving around the world or local families relying on foodbanks.
Wasting food is like throwing money in the bin and it is harmful to the environment, too. But I am not alone. According to a national newspaper, a quarter of British households throw away food amounting to £437 a year just because it ends up at the back of the fridge and they forget it’s there. It is also understood almost 10% of the weekly shop ends up getting thrown away – be it leftovers, half-eaten lunch packs or food that has gone past its expiration date.
People are even more in the dark about food left in their freezers, with 12% confessing to throwing away an item that was a year past its perishable date.
My main problem is over-buying at supermarkets. I am easily enticed by two-for-one offers or other multi-buy deals at supermarkets. I end up buying double because the price is attractive and I feel I have got a bargain, but, in reality, I don’t always need that extra bag of carrots or two loaves of bread instead of one.
With soaring food prices, I think there needs to be more forward planning before going to the supermarkets and once food is cooked and there are leftovers, I need to store it in the freezer so less food ends up in the bin!