Love food but hate waste?

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23/03/2015 12:00:00 a.m.

23 March 2015

Did you know that bread, oranges, chicken, carrots and potatoes top the list of the $563 worth of food the average New Zealand household throws away per year?

The Wanganui District Council is one of 60 councils in New Zealand who are urging their communities to reduce the amount of food being wasted.

The newly launched ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ waste prevention campaign, which will run for three years, encourages people to think about what food they buy, and make meals from leftovers in order to reduce household food costs and environmental damage.

New Zealanders spend an estimated $872 million per year on food which gets thrown away uneaten. This equates to more than 122,500 tonnes of food; enough to feed around 263,000 people for one year. The average household throws out around 79kg of edible food every year, with 27 per cent of households throwing out more than $21.00 of edible food per week.

Wanganui District Council’s Waste Adviser Stuart Hylton says households in our district can do simple things to prevent food waste.

“The average rubbish bag or wheelie bin in our district can contain up to 50 per cent of compostable material. If households began to reduce the amount of food they throw away, we would see much less waste going to landfill and families would also save money on groceries.”

He encourages people to plan their shopping, store food at the right temperature and in the right containers so it doesn’t perish and use leftovers to create new meals.

“The Council will soon be seeking ideas and feedback on its Waste Minimisation Plan review and is keen to hear ideas about how we as a community can reduce the amount of food which is wasted.

“There are a lot of great ideas to minimise food wastage, such as giving leftovers to family members, friends or neighbours or eating them for lunch the next day. I also encourage people to use a compost bin or worm farm to get rid of food scraps so less waste goes to landfill.”

For ideas on how to reduce food waste, please visit www.facebook.com/lovefoodhatewastenz.

Page reviewed: 23 Mar 2015 12:00am