Food: Waste or Waist

By Trash Talk on Mar 12, 08 02:23 PM

A third of the food we buy in the UK ends up being thrown away.
6.7 million tonnes of food every year – some of it is peel, cores and bones – stuff you can’t eat.
But the majority is or started out as perfectly good food.
What is so bad about throwing away food – it rots down doesn’t it?

Yes it does, but it will rot down inside a landfill. Inside the landfill the microbes that break the food down cannot get enough air so they start to produce methane. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas (21 times for powerful as a greenhouse gas that carbon dioxide).

People that operate landfills capture some of this gas and use it to make electricity. Premier alone produces six megawatts of electricity per year from landfill gas. However, some escapes to the atmosphere helping to accelerate global warming; methane is about 21 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas compared to carbon dioxide.

This is different than putting your peelings into a compost bin or green waste collection service – here the green waste is composted and the does not produce methane – instead you get some carbon dioxide (the microbes breath this out) and compost that helps to feed the soil.

As part of the WRAP programme to cut down on food waste they recommend measuring out correct portions size and reusing leftovers to cut down on the food thrown away.

By cooking the right amount you do not overeat and you do not end up throwing food away.

See for more advice on cooking the right amount of food and recipes from WRAP.

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