Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


2 Comments

Love Food Hate Waste Campaign

Throughout the last five or so wintery months we’ve been cooking up storms to raise awareness of just how much food is wasted in the UK and what we can all do to help reduce it.

If you can visualise the Wembley Stadium and just how big it is, then you might start to visualise how big an issue food waste really is. Every year, UK residents throw away enough food to fill the Wembley Stadium about seven times. Seven times. That’s a lot.

Student's at Goldsmith's University learn new cooking skills.

Student’s at Goldsmith’s University learn new cooking skills.

When we received funding from Recycle for London, Lewisham Council set out to reach as many of its residents in a practical and fun way, teaching them simple every day steps in how to reduce food waste.

All in all we attended the Fresher’s Fayre event at GoldsmithsUniversity where we also held 9 of the 14 cooking classes that we put on. These cooking classes helped students gain more confidence with cooking, especially when using up left-over food and helped them understand how to store food so that it’d last many days longer. Other classes were held throughout the community too.

A hive of activity as everyone get's stuck into some serious cooking.

A hive of activity as the students get stuck into some serious cooking.

Here’s some feedback from the students…

“…it’s so easy to make pizza dough from scratch and so good for using up left over veg or anything…”

“…I learnt that there’s no need to peel vegetables, just wash them well and that you can use the outside leaves of cauliflower and even the stem!…”

“…I didn’t know there were so many uses for black bananas – and I learnt that my freezer is my friend!…”

We also held 3 public cooking demonstrations at Deptford and Brockley markets and at the Tesco Superstore in Lewisham where people passing by were able to taste some yummy dishes and get some great food saving tips. On top of all this we also attended several primary schools to present the idea of loving food and hating waste within their classes.

Tesco customers get a sample of free food and learn some LFHW cooking tips as well.

Tesco customers get a sample of free food and learn some LFHW cooking tips as well.

If you were one of the 700 people involved in either our classes, workshops, demonstrations and information stalls, THANK YOU for joining us and we hope we’ll see you next time as we had a great time doing running the campaign too!


2 Comments

Come cook with me…come cook with me!

Love food? Love cooking? But hate food waste?…. come and see the experts in action as two chefs give live cooking demonstrations in 2 of Lewisham’s markets.

Richard cooks up a few treats for all the on lookers.

TV chef, Richard Fox, has been talking, demonstrating and presenting at food events around the world for the last few years and this Saturday, the 17th of November at the Brockley Market Richard will be giving a live cooking demonstration with emphasis on food waste reduction from 10am – 2pm.

Richard gives lots of tips on cooking and storing food.

Following this, on Wednesday the 21st November at Deptford Market from 10am – 3pm, wholesome food chef Leigh Adams, will also be showing how to make quick and easy meals from all sorts of leftovers found in the typical kitchen. Leigh Adams has been a chef for 10 years, living in the west midlands he has worked in some of its most prominent pubs and restaurants.

A member of the recycling team will also be on hand to answer some questions.

The two chefs will be dishing out yummy samples as well as advice and tips on how to cook great tasting recipes with leftover ingredients, how to make your food last longer and money saving food ideas.

The cooking demonstrations are part of European Week of Waste Reduction with this years theme on the reduction of food waste and promoting the national Love Food Hate Waste campaign, which provides simple practical help to reduce waste, save money, and enjoy the food they’ve bought in an inspiring way.

For recipe suggestions and food saving tips go to:

http://england.lovefoodhatewaste.com/

 

 For more information about recycling in Lewisham visit

www.lewisham.gov.uk/recycling


Leave a comment

Food Safety Week, 11-17 June 2012

As part of this year’s Food Safety Week, Lewisham Council is reminding residents to store leftover food safely.

New research published by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on 11 June, shows that some people are taking more risks with food safety as they try to save money and make their food go further.

Some people are ignoring ‘Use By’ dates more than they used to, while others are keeping leftovers for longer than the recommended limit of two days in the fridge.

There are over a million cases of food poisoning in the UK each year, 20,000 hospitalisations and 500 deaths.

Councillor Susan Wise, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, said: “Of course, we all want our money to go as far as possible and using leftovers is a really good way of doing this. But no-one want to be ill.

“People often become ill because they don’t store food properly or they store it for too long. The best way of avoiding this is to plan meals where you can, and just buy what you need. This also means you are less likely to have to throw food away which helps you save money.”

Bob Martin, a food safety expert at the FSA, said: “With most of us seeing our weekly shopping bills increase over the last few years, we are all looking for ways to get the most out of our shopping budget.

“Using leftover food is a good way of making our meals go further. However, unless we’re careful, there’s a chance we can risk food poisoning by not storing or handling them properly. During Food Safety Week we are working with Lewisham Council to encourage people to view their fridge as their friend and make the most of leftovers whilst staying safe.”

View your fridge as your friend

The FSA’s advice on leftovers says:

  • If you are going to store leftovers in the fridge, cool them as quickly as possible, ideally within 90 minutes.  Cover them, get them in the fridge and then eat them within two days.
  • Make sure your fridge is operating at the correct temperature, it should be below 5oC.
  • You can also freeze your leftovers, but cool them first to minimise temperature fluctuation in your freezer. They can be safely stored in the freezer almost indefinitely, but the quality will still deteriorate gradually with time, so it’s best to eat them within three months.
  • Make sure you defrost frozen leftovers properly before using them. If you’re going to cook them straightaway use a microwave. If you don’t have a microwave, defrost them in the fridge overnight.
  • Eat leftovers within 24 hours of defrosting and do not refreeze them again. The only exception to this is if you are defrosting raw food, such as meat or poultry, which can be refrozen once it has been cooked.
  • Cook leftovers until steaming hot throughout.

Understanding ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates:

  • ‘Use by’ dates appear on foods that go off quickly. It can be dangerous to eat food past this date, even though it might look and smell fine.
  • Check the ‘use by’ dates on the food in your fridge on a regular basis and be sure to use (eat, cook or freeze) food before its ‘use by’ to help you avoid throwing food away unnecessarily.
  • You can freeze food anytime up until the ‘use by’ date. Check the packaging to make sure it’s suitable for freezing.
  • Once food with a ‘use by’ date has been opened, follow any storage instructions such as ‘eat within 3 days of opening’, but not if the ‘use by’ date is tomorrow.
  • ‘Best before’ dates appear on food with a longer shelf life. They show how long the food will be at its best quality. Using food after the ‘best before’ doesn’t mean it will be unsafe. The exception to this is eggs, providing they are cooked thoroughly, they can be eaten a day or two after their ‘best before’ date.

There are around a million cases of food poisoning every year in the UK. The levels soar during summer months across the UK with around 120,000 extra cases of illness from June to August. One of the reasons for this increase is warmer temperatures causing any germs present to grow faster, which underlines the importance of getting leftovers in the fridge quickly.


Leave a comment

Food and cooking demo goes down a treat

There might have been a bit of a chill in the air but there were plenty of hot and spicy treats for the large crowds that gathered throughout the day for Lewisham’s first Love Food Hate Waste (LFHW) cooking demonstration.

Richard cooks up a few treats for all the on lookers.

Richard cooks up a few treats for all the on lookers.

On Monday 21st November, celebrated chef Richard Fox spent the day just outside the shopping centre near Lewisham market showing people how to make simple yet wholesome food from ingredients that they might on another day have considered throwing away.

 First up on the menu was a biryani accompanied by flat bread made from left over chicken, sausages, peas, green beans an onion, some rice, some flour and a few herbs and spices that are probably lurking in everyone’s cupboard somewhere. This was all cooked and dished up within 10 mins or so and served to show the shopping residents of Lewisham just what could be achieved using simple everyday ingredients.

 As well as showing people simple and easy to cook recipes, Richard was also giving out many tips on how to make food last longer and therefore increase its chance of being used up and of course not wasted (which is what the event was all about). For example, he demonstrated how to make coriander last at least a week longer by simply wrapping it in paper towel, sprinkling it with some water and then wrapping some cling film round the stalks.

He also showed a plastic punnet filled with mushrooms that didn’t look their best and asked the crowd how many people would throw the mushrooms away with many agreeing that they would. Richard then cooked the mushrooms in some hot rapeseed oil before leaving them to cool. Once cool they could be put back into the fridge where they will keep for up to another 4 or 5 days and can be added to stews, curries etc. when required. This method was also demonstrated with some very overripe tomatoes which Richard explained were probably at their tastiest now and would be ideal for pasta sauces.

Shoppers gather to watch Richard in action

A second cooking demonstration is being planned for tomorrow (24th November) just outside the shopping centre again where chef Leigh Adams will be in action showing people how to make simple dishes and to think about not wasting food when there is really no need to.