grow your own to cut Food Waste

Industry experts predict that food prices are set to rise by 5% during 2013, putting even more pressure on families struggling to make ends meet. Yet reports out in the media say that as a nation, we are throwing away unprecedented amounts of food, with the average British family wasting £680 worth of food every year.

On top of that, farmers are also wasting around 25% of their produce because of the strict requirements the supermarkets impose.

Overall, the nation is wasting a huge amount of food and although some of the factors are understandable, with a little effort, planning, savvy shopping and by making some small lifestyle changes, we can all do our bit to reduce the amount of food we waste.

Growing your own salad, vegetables and herbs at home can not only help cut your grocery bill, you tend to only pick what you need for a meal, so there is no wastage as the rest is left on the plant to continue growing. If growers have an abundance of larger vegetables and fruit, they can be harvested and frozen, pickled, made into jam or given to family and friends to enjoy. Plus it’s a great way to get all the family involved in an activity together, outside and learning a new skill.

Growing food at home, indoors, in the garden, or in an allotment is an education. It’s so fulfilling to watch how a tiny seed grows into an amazing, tasty vegetable. Growing your own food really helps to value the process and effort it takes to produce great-tasting vegetables, herbs, fruits and salads and it certainly makes me think twice about throwing it away after all the hard work, infact it just doesn’t happen!

Given the economic climate, finding ways to cut costs and eat more cost-effectively, yet healthily, has never been more important. You don’t need an allotment or a garden, a small yard, patio or even a windowsill is enough. For me and my family, it’s really satisfying to cook some great dishes with what we have grown at home – we have made our own tomato and basil sauces for pasta dishes, stir-fried vegetables to eat with noodles and have plenty of fresh salad leaves and lettuce varieties to make our own healthy salads. Money-wise, we worked out that by not buying supermarket lettuces and salad bags, we save around £25 per month and have very little wastage…and it tastes better too!

It is all too easy to throw away a mouldy lettuce you bought from the supermarket, but when you have patiently watched it grow you will be less likely to take it for granted and more likely to eat it before it goes to waste.

#foodwaste is trending on Twitter and it’s great to see that is has come to the fore as it will go some way to help people become more aware of what they throw away.

To find out more about ways you can help more visit: