This month's Institute of Mechanical Engineers report found that almost half of the world's food is thrown away.
This is a really important issue, and one that EVERYONE should be conscious of, in terms of how much food they throw away. Especially in austere times like these! Making use of what would otherwise be wasted is actually one of the foundations of our business; Rubies in the Rubble in 2010, which aims to counteract the waste of food produce.
We work closely with local markets and supermarkets, using their surplus fresh ingredients to make chutneys before they are discarded, which we sell online and in food markets across the UK.
Last year I was actually selected as the UK winner of Ben & Jerry's 2012 Join Our Core competition, to find Europe's best young social entrepreneurs, so to inspire others to do make a business out of social issues that THEY think are important, I've drafted some tips to try and inspire others.
1. Obviously - get into the kitchen and make your own chutney and jams.
2. Love your leftovers.. get creative making meals from what you have and spice them up with some of your yummy homemade preserves
3. Think before you shop. Have a look in the fridge for what you already have and have an idea of meals or recipe needs before you shop.
4. Feed your garden - compost your coffee granules or fresh leftovers
5. Excess bread? Panzanella, croutons or bread and butter pudding are all delicious treats... anything but an afterthought. Check out Jamie Oliver's recipe or experiment with adding bananas if there are some lying around. Or just feed the birds.
6. Use your freezer - if you know you are not going to use something, freeze it fresh for another day... A full refrigerator retains cold better than an empty one.
7. Savvy storage - get into the habit of putting cereal, biscuits, and fresh nuts into tins or airtight containers
8. be old fashioned - today's leftovers can be tomorrow's centrepiece. A roast chicken carcass makes great stock for risotto or soup the next day
9. Don't be a slave to the sell-by. Remember that Best Before dates are made with caution- often with non-meat or dairy products you can use your common sense to check if they're still good to eat.
10. Share! Other people- colleagues, neighbours, friends- might just love what you don't want.