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Council launches new ‘Food Smart’ campaign

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Launching Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s new ‘Food Smart’ campaign, Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan, is challenging us all to become Food Smart. This is at home, work, school and everywhere else to enjoy food while saving money too!

As a Borough, an estimated 10,000 tonnes of food was thrown out last year, costing £1 million on landfill fees alone. Food Smart, run by Council in partnership with ‘Love Food Hate Waste’, is a new campaign aiming to reduce food waste by helping people to re-connect with the value of food.  Food Smart aims to help everyone to think, shop and eat smarter, saving money and helping the environment too.

‘WRAP’s Household Food and Drink Waste: A product Focus 2014’ identified that an astonishing 7 million tonnes of food and drink is wasted across the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland from our homes each year, the majority of which could have been eaten.  The average family with children throws out, up to £60.00 of perfectly good food every month.

The Mayor commented: “When it comes to wasting food, I suspect we are no different in our house. For this reason I am taking part in the food diary challenge for one week, when I will record all of the food we throw out.

“I also aim to record all of the food which goes out of date before we manage to eat it. I am hoping this will help us to identify what foods in particular, we are wasting.  I am already aware that we buy too much, cook too much and put too much on our plates.

“By focusing on the food we waste for one week, I know we can change our habits to save money and use food more wisely. I welcome everyone to join me in this challenge and keep a ‘Food Smart’ food diary in your house.”

‘Save food – save money’. OSN Family Spending Report 2015 identified that food is an expensive part of our weekly budget, with families in Northern Ireland spending, on average, £64 every week on food.  This is the highest spend of any region in the UK and not only that, but the food wasted can be worth up to one fifth of the value of a shopping spend.  For this reason, it makes sense to make the most of the food we buy.

Danielle McCormick, Local Partnership Advisor, Love Food Hate Waste said: “Food waste is a huge problem within households across Northern Ireland wasting the equivalent of up to six meals per week.

“I think the new ‘Food Smart’ programme is a fantastic initiative and will go a long way in encouraging householders, schools and businesses to really think about the amount of food and money that is being thrown away every single day, as well as offering practical solutions to help make the most of the food that we buy.”

The Food Smart campaign includes tips and advice to help focus on the value food. By becoming involved, everyone can get the habit of planning meals, shopping smarter, controlling portions better and wasting less food – and money!

For hints, tips and recipes on how to make the most of the food purchased and to save up to £60 a month, visitwww.lovefoodhatewaste.com.

For further information on ‘Food Smart’ go to www.causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk, email [email protected] or contact Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Recycling Officers on 028 7034 7034.

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