Putting more frozen food on UK dinner plates could help slash household food waste, according to the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF).
BFFF’s comments follow the latest household food and drink report from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Its research The Household Food and Drink Waste linked to Food and Drink Purchases showed that consumers binned 5.3Mt of avoidable waste.
Brian Young, BFFF director general, said: “When millions of people in the world go to bed hungry every night, it’s shocking to see that almost a fifth of food purchased is destined for the rubbish bin. If more consumers opted for frozen, there would be virtually zero waste from products perishing in the cupboard or fridge.”
Binned bread accounts for 32% of the total waste while potatoes and vegetables account for 24%.
Discarded meat and fish accounts for 13% of the total.
“Frozen products can have shelflives of around 12 months or more depending on the product and will remain in peak condition for the duration of this when stored correctly,” said Young. “Fast and organised harvest and slaughter to freeze methods ensure that nutrients and quality is locked in.”
Young added: “While the cost of living continues to rise, it makes no sense to throw money away on produce that will not be consumed. Choosing frozen food can help families and individuals take control of their budgets and eat nutritious food year round. It is unsustainable and morally wrong to keep throwing away fresh food.
“We must be intelligent in our food choices, using frozen wherever possible, to make sure that money spent at the supermarket translates to food in our tummies not food in the bin.”
Earlier this month BFFF confirmed that celebrity endorsements by TV chefs such as Jamie Oliver plus consumers’ perception of high-value and low-waste helped the UK frozen food sector grow by 5.2% to reach sales of £5.36bn last year.