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Food waste: my guilty secret

lamb chopsThrowing away edible food is bad news. Sustainability charity Wrap says UK households throw away about 7.3 million tonnes of food a year. I’m ashamed to say quite a bit of that comes from our house.

A big part of the problem is there are only two of us (bar the cats) and we have vastly different tastes. Junior won’t eat cheese or any dairy (and that includes anything which even looks a bit creamy); mashed or baked potatoes; tomatoes; bananas; quite a lot of vegetables and (unbelievably) cake or white bread. He also will only eat meat if it is guaranteed to be tender. His favourite meal is the ruinously expensive and unhealthy crispy duck and pancakes. In his favour, he does like apples, carrots, cucumber, pears and oranges so he won’t get scurvy.

As my diet is completely different, it’s hard to find things we will both eat. Bigger families I know of have it sorted: slow cooking curries and whatever. I instead cook every night and it’s getting expensive and silly. The other night I cooked him lamb chops. He declared them tasteless and said they weren’t like the ones from the other night. I can’t believe his palate is so developed he could detect Morrison’s meat compared with Marks & Sparks. But I don’t believe in forcing him to eat stuff. So I chucked his dinner away.

I’m not totally wasteful: I do freeze bread and toast it while frozen so we don’t waste it – anti waste charity Love Food Hate Waste says that 24 million slices of bread are thrown away every day in the UK and the average Brit throws away more than half a loaf of bread each month. But I do need to sort out the catering problem in the house. It can’t be resolved by pasta, by the way: that seems to be what the boy has for lunch at school every day.

My plan at the moment is to get the boy into cooking, in the hope it will make him try things. Stir-frying vegetables and teeny bits of meat or fish might work so that’s the first meal. But after that, the ideas are running out. I’d welcome your ideas – and tips on how not to waste food – at our forum here.

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Monday, 22 April 2019