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Should we cry about waste milk? Sustainability charity shares wastage figures

Sustainability charity WRAP has estimated that 490 million pints of milk are wasted every year in the UK. Women In The Food Industry will be discussing what can be done in a expert panel

Should we cry about waste milk? Sustainability charity shares wastage figures

"There is so much more that people can do with out of date milk, rather than throw it away. Plus expiry date labelling needs reviewing so we are clearer on what is safe to eat."
Mecca Ibrahim

Did you know that around 490 million pints of milk are wasted every year in the UK? Nearly one-third of UK households said that they throw away food every week because it has not lasted as long as they hoped it would. Yet, thousands of British adults are happy to eat out of date food, a recent study commissioned by Arla Cravendale has found. More UK households wish fresh food lasted longer, as they have concerns about food waste. However, the study found two-thirds of respondents regularly tipped milk down the drain.

The Arla Cravendale research also found that food wastage is a major topic for the future of the environment, with two-thirds of Britons feeling guilty about wasting food that has gone past its best.  Women in the Food Industry are holding an expert panel and light supper (using ingredients that may have normally been wasted) to explore these issues and many more on 18th June 2019 - Sustainable Gastronomy Day.

The panel features women in the food industry who have sustainability at the core of their business models or have been making them as sustainable as possible and want to support and celebrate the efforts of the UN in creating Sustainable Gastronomy Day. One of the main missions behind the day is to shine a light on what our eating habits are doing for the environment. Food losses represent a waste of resources used in production such as water, energy, land and inputs, increasing the greenhouse gas emissions in vain.

Emma Stanbury from Arla Cravendale said: “It’s always a shame when things go to waste, especially when, it comes to fresh foods such as milk, that haven’t lasted as long as we hoped. We are often told by consumers that they feel guilty when they have to pour milk away.

“However, making small changes at home means we can all help to play a part, such as switching to products that stay fresher for longer.”

The Arla Cravendale research who polled 2,000 adults who said they would comfortably eat cheese 10 days after its “best before” date, bread five days past its best and fish three days after its expiry date. Respondents also said they would cook raw meat three days past its best before date and use butter as many as 10 days later.

Sustainability charity WRAP has estimated that using fresh filtered milk, which has a shelf life of 21 days unopened, compared to standard fresh milk that has a shelf life of 14 days unopened, can reduce the amount of household milk that is thrown away by around 80 per cent.

Co-founder of Women In the Food Industry,  Mecca Ibrahim  said "There is so much more that people can do with out of date milk and stale bread, rather than throw it away. Plus expiry date labelling needs reviewing so we are clearer on what is safe to eat." 

We are hosting an informative yet delicious night at London's most sustainable cookery school, where attendees can watch demonstrations of delicious dishes using "wonky" fruit and vegetables and stale bread by Rosalind Rathouse - founder of Cookery School in Little Portland Street and Pervin Todiwala of Cafe Spice Namaste and Mr Todiwala's Kitchen. Attendees will then enjoy Ros and Pervin's delicious dishes while exploring the issues behind sustainability in a panel debate".

The panel brings together the following food industry experts:

Rosalind Rathouse - Founder of Cookery School at Little Portland Street

Pervin Todiwala - Co-Founder of Cafe Spice Namaste and Mr Todiwala's Kitchen

Anastasia Emanuel & Amelia Christie Miller - Food Chain & Feast Fairly

Alicia Lawson - Commercial Director of Rubies in the Rubble

Linde Stael - CSR and Foundation Manager of Belazu

Jess Latchford  - Founder of WasteKnot

"Food waste is still a barely discussed part of the environmental jigsaw, yet the cost to our purses and our world is vast. There are so many small practical things we can do to minimise the amount we each chuck out." said Kate Colquhoun, author of The Thrifty Cookbook and campaigner against food waste.

When it comes to milk, it’s not just about the amount you buy, or the temperature of the fridge…fresh filtered milk simply lasts longer, making it more likely that all of it gets used, and less gets poured down the plug”.

Find out more & book tickets to the Women in The Food Industry Sustainabilty Gastronomy Day Panel & Light Supper here.  The ticket price includes a welcome drink of organic Prosecco, a light supper and a goodie bag. 


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