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Love Food, Hate Waste

At lunchtime at my primary school, we used to have to raise our hands before leaving the table. The dinnerladies would come and check our plates to make sure we’d eaten enough and that we weren’t wasting the grub on our plastic plates. Sometimes, I think we could do with a dinnerlady in our homes to help us with the amount of food wastage that goes on in the UK.

The stats are ABSOLUUUUUTELY SHOCKING. Seven million tonnes of food gets thrown away from UK households because we either buy or prep too much, or we don’t use food in time before it goes off and it is costing us £12.5 BILLION a year. I mean, that’s a lot.

The fantastic folk at Love Food, Hate Waste are working tirelessly in order to help the UK public make the most of the food we buy and to and cut down on our wastage. Their current campaign focuses on the wastage of beef, and I was invited down to Smiths of Smithfield to learn more.

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Beef wastage is a huuuuge issue in the UK. Farmer and TV presenter Adam Henson was on hand to explain that as a nation, we throw away the equivalent of 300 million burgers every year. One of  the major reasons for this is consumers always going for the same, familiar cuts of meat. We sat down to a thoroughly informative butchery demonstration and discussion about cuts of beef that just aren’t used- because they’re not ‘trendy’ or people just simply don’t know what to ask for, such as beef heel, or leg of mutton (don’t be fooled- this is a beef cut too.)

(Veggies be warned- there’s some pictures of raw meat now.)

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We then tucked into a delicious lunch created from those unusal cuts we’d just been discussing. Our trio of starters were all bursting with flavour- a spicy Thai beef salad, creamy arancini with beef ragu and a totally moreish beef ravoli.

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Our main course was a huge thick wedge of beef leg of mutton, which had been slow cooked and served up with charred roast onion, mash and a stunning red wine gravy (I refuse to say ‘jus’. It’s gravy. IT’S BLOODY GRAVY!). The meat was tender, flavourful and falling to pieces- absolutely gorgeous.

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If you’d like to get involved with the conversation, the twitter hashtag is #MeatyIssue and explore the Love Food, Hate Waste website. It’s a veritable treasure trove of hints and tips to help cut down on your household food wastage. For example:

-Leftover Sunday roast beef can be used to great effect in a huge amount of dishes, like curry, stir fries and cottage pies (recipes on the site!).

– Pad out meals made with leftover meat with pulses or veg to make dinner more filling and to save money on meat.

– Take a ‘shelfie’ of your fridge before shopping to prevent you doubling up on items you already have!

What are your best tips for making the most out of your food?

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I was a guest of Love Food, Hate Waste, but as always all views and opinions are my own!

 

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