Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


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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.


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Top 10 tips for cooking and storing food in the home

So how do you go about cutting down on food waste? Here are some top tips:

 

1. Make the most of foods approaching use by date: why not cook and freeze for later use? For example, cook those sausages, freeze them and then turn them into a sausage risotto on another day.

 2. Remember to check the fridge daily (not just to get the milk out!) and look at dates and what needs using up – use this information in your meal planning. For example, if the eggs are approaching their ‘best before’ date then it might be omelettes for tea instead!

 3. No need to throw carrots and cucumbers away if they’ve gone a bit soft. Just put them in a glass of water in the fridge – they’ll perk up in no time. You can then peel and chop carrots, onions etc, bag them and freeze. When needed, just take out as much as you need and reseal. No more soggy veg at the bottom of your veg box.

 4. A curry is a good solution for just about any unused or leftover food, even vegetables that are on the soft side will be fine in a curry or casserole.

 5. Always finding the half used jar of pesto at the back of the fridge? Why not freeze the leftovers for another day?

 6. Understand the best way to store foods to keep them fresher for longer. Keep your fridge at the correct temperature: below 5°C.

 7. Storing fruit in the fridge can extend its life for up to 2 weeks (this does not work not bananas and pineapple).

 8. You can keep food safely in the freezer for years, in theory, as long as it has stayed frozen the whole time. However, the taste and texture of food changes if it’s frozen for too long, so you might well find that it’s not very nice to eat.

 9. Plan around your schedule and choose a time to plan when you will not be interrupted (too much) – include meals from the freezer, leftover recipes (e.g. pasta for tea, leftovers for lunch), cooking double and freezing half. If possible, use the time to look through cook books and recipes.

 10. Get others involved in menu planning – this ensures there’s something for everyone.

(image: Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)


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‘Celebrity’ European Week of Waste Reduction

Whilst it might not be the most glamorous and exciting name for a week that aims to raise awareness about waste, this year we are at least bringing some celebrity to Lewisham High Street.

On the 21st November, Richard Fox, TV chef and beer expert will be giving a demonstration of his cooking skills and showing people recipes that that will help them to reduce food waste within the home. Richard has had his own beer and food show on BBC1 Look North and was a regular chef on BBC 2’s Food Poker. He is the regular beer chef on The Food Channel’s Market Kitchen.


Richard Fox has been talking, demonstrating and presenting at beer events around the world for the last few years. His lively and inspirational style makes him a show favourite. His TV and media work in the field of beer and food have brought critical acclaim.

 His first book, The Food and Beer Cook Book was published by Senate in 2006, and was also launched inAustralia by Marshal Cavendish. Channel 4 then commissioned a three part series based on Richard’s beer and pub exploits with Men Behaving Badly star, Neil Morrissey. He was also co-presenter with Neil Morrissey for an ITV series, which saw the dynamic duo travelling acrossAfrica.

 Richard has appeared on UKTV Food, Saturday Cooks on ITV, The Good Food Show on BBC Radio 4, to name but a few. He is currently touring the country performing cooking demonstrations for the Love Food Hate Waste campaign in theUK. (see youtube clip above).

 As well as Richard on the 21st, we will also have Leigh Adams on the 24thNovember. Leigh has been a chef for 10 years, living in the west midlands he has worked in some of its most prominent pubs and restaurants. As well as food demonstrations Leigh also has an outside catering company which he specialises particularly in what Leigh calls “good wholesome food”.

He enjoys using his cooking skills with a wide range of people and regularly works with disadvantaged groups showing them how to make their food budgets stretch as far as possible.

Leigh’s culinary skills are second to none and he is an advocate of the “love food hate waste campaign” He is passionate about the environment and loves to inspire people to help them come up with ingenious and creative ways of creating gastronomic master pieces from ordinary food.

 There will be a variety of recipes cooked throughout the day. The chefs will talk through how these are made, cooking and storage tips etc while handing out small tasting samples throughout the day. As one recipe is devoured by onlookers, a new recipe will be made up.

 They will demonstrate the ease of how a small number of ingredients and base foods can create different and exciting recipes without too much effort. The idea is to promote the using of the same ingredients to create a variety of recipes rather than to buy a wide range of ingredients that then can all too easily be left forgotten in the fridge. It not only promotes innovative ways to use up what ingredients the householder already has, but will also promote the reduction of waste and the saving of money and time.

 As well as the free samples of lovely cooked food being handed out, there will also be free recipe cards, spaghetti measurers and other freebies at the event.

 The event starts around 10.30am and will go through to 3pm The mobile kitchen will be set up near Lewisham market outside of the main entrance to Lewisham’s Shopping Centre.

 Everyone is welcome.


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Sainsbury’s reveals we are what we waste

  • The average Brit could save more than double the amount they think they can
  • The average household could save £50 a month by avoiding food waste
  • 46% admit that they don’t know the correct ways to store food
  • Sainsbury’s reveals a set of waste ‘typologies’ to help people identify the ways they waste food

According to new research carried out by Sainsbury’s, Brits think they bin almost 10% of their weekly shop whereas actually it’s more than double that. The research has identified six types of people, each of whom wastes food in a different way.

 Despite tough economic times, supporting analysis carried out by WRAP reveals that British shoppers are unnecessarily throwing away an incredible £12 billion worth of food a year.  Furthermore, if UK households tackled avoidable food waste, they would save an average of £50 a month.

 The research reveals that people waste food in a variety of different ways according to their lifestyles and beliefs.  To find the best ways to tackle the problem, Sainsbury’s is working with Love Food Hate Waste

 Jack Cunningham, Sainsbury’s head of climate change and environment, said: “No one wants to waste food, but unpredictable lifestyles and hectic schedules mean many think it is unavoidable.  By recognising which type of shopper they are, customers can learn to plan meals more effectively, cutting waste and reducing household costs.”

 Hungry Hoarders, who make up 11% of theUK adult population, shop while hungry, resulting in impulse purchases.  They often fail to plan ahead meaning their shop might not create complete meals.

 Another key offender is the Ditsy Diarist, who currently accounts for 9% of the population. Ditsy Diarists do not consult their little black books before their trip to the supermarket and as they eat out a lot or work late, much of what they buy sits unused in the fridge and is eventually thrown away.

 Other groups that have surfaced are the Food Phobics (25%) – who are ultra-conscious and throw away food on or before the best before date without first checking its condition.  The Separate Shoppers are a generation of independent individuals who buy their own food without checking what their partner or housemate has already bought, often resulting in duplication.

 However all is not lost, some people are a far more careful about food waste. Topping the list are the Freezer Geezers – those who simply love their leftovers and use their freezers effectively to minimise food waste. Similarly, Conscientious Consumers are a group who love to make meals out of leftovers. Freezer Geezers and Conscientious Consumers combined make up 44% of the population.

 Food waste has become a hot topic over recent years, and the majority (67%) of consumers admit they do not always plan their shopping trips by making a list or meal planning, instead deciding what to buy while in the store. 46% admit that they do not know the correct ways to store food.

 Keen to tackle this problem head on, Sainsbury’s is introducing a raft of new measures to help reduce the amount of food wasted by:

  •  Working in conjunction with Love Food Hate Waste to train in-store counter colleagues up and down the country so that colleagues are on hand to give customers practical tips and advice to help reduce their household food waste
  • Providing tips and recipe ideas on how to use leftovers on lovefoodhatewaste.com

 Emma Marsh, Head of Love Food Hate Waste from WRAP said: “The industry has a huge role to play in helping reduce the amount of food we waste and we are working together to achieve solid results. Our research shows, for example, that Brits throw away around 37 million slices of bread a day in the UK and we have a long way to go to prevent this. We hope that by working with Sainsbury’s, we will help individuals enjoy their food more by learning to love their leftovers, which will help the environment and save money.”

 Defra Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minister, Lord Taylor continues: “Too much food gets wasted, which is not only bad for the household budget, but also bad for businesses’ bottom line. Since publishing the Waste Review we’ve introduced new guidance on food date labelling to help clear up confusion for customers and stop good food going to waste. We have also set up responsibility deals with the food industry to tackle waste in the supply chain and help them to save money.

 “The government-backed Love Food Hate Waste campaign also provides advice to consumers on how to avoid food going to waste and the Government is leading by example after introducing standards requiring caterers to reduce what we throw away.”

 Find out more at lovefoodhatewaste.com or ‘Like’ us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LoveFoodHateWasteCommunity


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A ‘Cheesy’ Story.

As families look for ways to save money on their household bills, many of us aren’t aware that food waste not only hits us in the pocket – up to £50 a month – but has a serious impact on the environment too. Think of a pack of cheese. The resources that go into maintaining the land, raising cows, processing the milk into cheese, transporting the cheese, refrigeration (both in transit and at the shop), packaging and advertising, getting us to the shop to buy it – it would be a crying shame if any of it went in the bin, but it does. In the UK we throw away the equivalent of more than three million slices of cheese a day! But it’s easy for us all to make a real difference. 

Love Food Hate Waste, in partnership with Lewisham Council, has some great solutions to help us reduce the amount of food we throw away. Here’s a nice cheesy one. Hard cheeses can be frozen then grated without defrosting to use as pizza toppings or cheese on toast. Stilton freezes really well without grating and can be defrosted for the cheese board, a quiche or soup. Cheese can also be kept fresher if you wrap it in foil. For more information on storage, freezing tips and great recipe ideas visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com

(photo: Suat Eman)


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“Leftovers” ft. Lewisham

Students at Goldsmiths College, New Cross produced this excellent video as part of their final year Media and Communications project. It discusses the fact that in the UK we throw away 8.3 million tonnes of food waste every year and highlights the issues associated with this in terms of the huge waste of resources.

The video features interviews with food waste experts including our very own Waste Prevention Officers – Kristina Binns and David Brinson (torso only), as well as students from St Augustines R.C Primary School.

For tips on what can and can’t be frozen, portion sizes, better food storage to make your food last longer, hundreds of recipes to inspire you and help use up your leftovers visit the www.lovefoodhatewaste.com website.


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Love Christmas – Hate Waste

As Christmas is fast approaching I thought it might be pertinent to do a Christmas related waste post… Without wanting to sound like a scrooge, Christmas is a time of both excessive consumption and waste. Whilst I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a couple of extra mince pies or give your loved ones presents, there are a few things you can do to make your Christmas a little less wasteful:

1. Portion Control – shops are only shut for a couple of days so there is no need to buy excessive amounts of food, save money and reduce waste by thinking about how many people you will be feeding and how much they are really going to eat. You can use the Christmas perfect portions page on the Love Food Hate Waste website to plan your meals. Remember if you do find that you have over estimated you can also ….

2. Use up your leftovers – Visit the same website to find some Christmas left over recipes that will give you some great alternatives (and additions) to the classic turkey sandwich. Left over food is also being dealt with on London wide basis with the funding of a Surplus food centre in time for Christmas, the project will provide 800,000 meals for the needy.

3. Recycle your wrapping paper – So you’ve unwrapped all of your Christmas presents and have a wrapping paper mountain you need to clear to be able to watch the Christmas telly, the good news is that YOU CAN RECYCLE all of your wrapping paper, so pop it in your green bin or box.   

4. Pack your decorations away – Around 500 tonnes of old Christmas tree lights are thrown away each year, coupled with a huge amount of baubles and decorations! By taking down and packing away your decorations carefully you’ll have a lot less broken light bulbs and it will make it much easier to put it all up again next year.

5. Recycle your Christmas tree – If you haven’t bought a planted or plastic tree, the final act of Christmas is usually the ritual of throwing the Christmas tree into the back garden, where it gets left until the spring when you start to venture out into the garden and discover a very sad looking, needleless brown tree! Lewisham provide 12 sites throughout the borough where you can recycle your old Christmas trees for free.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!