Channel 4’s New Cooking Programme Highlights The Issue With Food Waste

Culinary queen Prue Leith and food expert Dr Rupy Aujla have teamed up to help tackle the growing issue with food waste in the new Channel 4 show Cook Clever Waste Less, which is in partnership with Hellmans. In the UK, 6.7 million tonnes of food is wasted per year, around 40% of this goes directly to landfills, where it releases excessive amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide.

The show not only highlights the environmental impacts but the financial effects as well, reporting that £14 billion worth of food is wasted each year, by either over-purchasing or over-cooking. Prue, who has been dubbed the ‘left-over queen’ teamed up with healthy eating & dietary specialist Dr Rupy Aujla, helping families across the UK get a handle on their ever-mounting food waste problems. In each episode the pair join one family who is producing an excessive amount of food waste, they provide them with meal plans, advice, and guidance on how best to tackle the waste issue and also save them money.

The show provides an eye-opening insight into the issues with food waste, sharing many facts about the UK waste and purchasing habits, including:

  • 1 in 3 of us admit to over-purchasing or double buying.
  • When calculated we throw away 25% of our food due to over-purchasing.
  • Surveys show that more than 50% of adults admit to not planning meals or a shopping list, which will lead to impulse buying and later food waste.
  • Fruit and vegetables are the most wasted food item from UK households, with £2.7 million pounds worth being disposed of each year.
  • 1 million bananas are thrown away every day.
  • The average UK household throws away food that could accumulate to 8 meals each week.
  • Studies show, we impulse buy healthier options whilst in the supermarket with the intention of eating better, but do not plan on how to use these items, thus leaving them to expire.

Cook Clever Waste Less, gave the families a clever diet plan which centered around bulk cooking, using fewer ingredients and using every part of the food (even the vegetable peels). The pair encouraged the families to cook in bulk and freeze the excess & plan and research recipes with the ingredients you already have at home before heading to the supermarket. During the programme we didn’t only hear tips and advice on best practices to reduce food waste, but we also heard recipes on how to use up every part of a food item, whilst also sharing ideas on how to use up your ripening food, which would usually go straight into the bin.

The show proved the be successful with the families involved, cutting down their food waste by a half and saving them money each week, watch it on Channel 4 OD.

We also have our own tips on how to reduce food waste, which you can view and download here.