Christmas is a time of plenty – plenty of food, plenty of gifts and, unfortunately, plenty of waste.
A huge number of us have already made changes to the way we shop, prepare, store and use food in order to reduce the amount that is thrown away and there’s no reason to let these good habits slip over Christmas.
Gary McKnight, Recycling Officer for Ballymena Borough Council, says: “Many of us are guilty of buying and cooking more than we need during the festive period. Avoiding food waste remains important all year round, but given that wasted food costs the average family with children up to £60 per month, saving this money is especially important in the run up to Christmas.”
Luckily help is at hand. Ballymena Borough Council has teamed up with Love Food Hate Waste to offer a top five festive tips to reduce waste this Christmas:
*Savvy shopping: Think about which items you need and who will be coming to dinner before writing out your shopping list. Meal plan accordingly, and, most importantly, stick to your list when you go shopping!
*Perfect portions: Count out appropriate portion sizes for everyone at dinner to reduce the risk of cooking too much. Log onto www.lovefoodhatewaste.com and try the perfect portion planner to help you calculate your meals this Christmas.
*Check your dates: When doing your shopping be sure to check the date labels to ensure you are getting the maximum lifespan from your products. “Best Before” is a quality label as flavour or colour may change after this time, whereas “Use By” is a safety label and the item should not be eaten after this date.
*Get Freeeeezzzing!!!: If you buy too much of something, or know you may not get through it all, freeze it - the freezer provides the answer to many of our food waste problems and you’d be surprised at what you can store away. www.lovefoodhatewaste.com has loads of tips to help you freeze and defrost loads of foods safely.
*Lovely leftovers: Use your leftovers to make delicious new recipes. There is a brand new selection of Christmas-themed recipes focusing especially on the festive and party season, so have a browse on www.lovefoodhatewaste.com to discover what handy leftover recipes you can keep up your sleeve for unexpected guests or lazy lunches.