With many Scots preparing Christmas dinner for the first time this year and much more cooking for unusually small festive gatherings, there’s a much greater risk of food ending up wasted if people struggle to plan for these changing times.
To help Scots show they care for loved ones and the planet, Love Food Hate Waste Scotland and Scotland’s national chef Gary Maclean have teamed up to tackle festive food waste and help people plan for the right numbers to ensure their Yuletide feasting isn’t driving global warming.
The #ChristmasFirsts campaign, which launches today, is big on taste, perfectly sized, and includes a range of menus, shopping lists and cooking advice to make Christmas dinner a cinch and help protect the environment.
It is estimated that around 67 million meals went to waste in Scotland last December and 84% of households had leftover food from Christmas Day. Festive favourites including turkey (56%), roast potatoes (34%) and Brussels sprouts (30%) were most likely to go uneaten.
Food waste is a significant contributor to the global climate crisis and the true cost to the planet of Scotland’s wasted food more than doubles when emissions from growing, processing and cooking it are taken into account. If wasted food is then sent to landfill the environmental impacts are even worse as this emits methane, one of the most damaging greenhouse gases.
Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “While this Christmas will be different for many people, as a nation, we will still waste thousands of tonnes of good food, a lot of which is avoidable.
“Food waste is a huge contributor to climate change and the best way to reduce this is by making sure we don’t throw away what we buy. We recognise that this year there will be people facing different circumstances and looking for guidance on what to prepare and when, and this is what has led to our #ChristmasFirsts campaign.
“Taking simple steps, like resisting the urge to overbuy and using a shopping list to avoid doubling up on ingredients, are easy ways we can all reduce food waste and do our bit to tackle climate change.”
#ChristmasFirsts menus offer an easy way to reduce food waste and be kind to the planet while at the same time delivering a meal that isn’t short on taste. The campaign covers shopping lists, recipes and meal planners, and even suggests creative ways to use leftovers. It’s all about food-waste free feasts and is designed to make it easy to serve a fabulous dinner for two, four or six people.
Meal plans cover traditional favourites, such as soup, turkey and trifle, as well as at including less familiar festive fare like halloumi or monkfish.
Gary Maclean, Scotland’s National Chef, said: “This year will be a Christmas of many ‘firsts’ but two things stay the same; Scotland loves its Christmas dinner and it’s still an easy time to generate more food waste than usual.
“The simplest way to reduce your household food waste is to plan – plan your shopping, plan your meal prep and plan your cooking time.
“If we plan ahead that little bit more, we can help tackle the 50,000 tonnes of food waste that will be thrown away this Christmas and ultimately fight climate change.”
Zero Waste Scotland is behind Love Food Hate Waste and recently launched its festive #ChristmasTrimmings campaign to provide practical ideas and tips on small changes to cut our carbon footprint linked to waste, calling on everyone to cut the waste, but keep the joy, in what for many will be a very different festive period.
Visit the Love Food Hate Waste Scotland website for more top tips on how to reduce your food waste this Christmas: https://scotland.lovefoodhatewaste.com/