29 March 2007, 17:57 PM
  • Each year in Britain as much as 3.3 million tons of edible produce is binned, costing the British public an estimated £23bn a year or £885 per household, a fact that has prompted the Stilton Cheese Makers Association (SCMA) to take action.

The SCMA has launched a campaign against food wastage, helping the UK public, where it is safe to do so, to recycle their leftovers.

The organisation believes food wastage is attributed to people’s eyes being bigger than their stomachs, with millions misjudging portion sizes. Further research by the Food and Drink Federation also indicates that 34% of the UK public ignore use-by dates and in doing so, run the risk of exposing themselves to food poisoning.

Diane Grant, a home economics/community studies lecturer from Liverpool John Moores University, comments, “The UK is one of the most wasteful countries in the world. Despite attempts by the Government to promote recycling, food wastage is often overlooked. Although dumping most food may not be harmful to the environment, people do not realise the damage such wastage is having upon their wallets. This is especially so when entertaining, either in the household or for corporate events, as hosts overcompensate with party snacks and large portions in order to create a good impression.”

Nigel White, of the Stilton Cheese Makers Association, adds, “It’s shocking that so much perfectly good food is dumped due to ignorance or laziness. People simply don’t realise how to use up the good food they have left over and what combinations can be used to create fantastic tasting meals.

“Stilton and biscuits is a popular dinner party food and some people think they won’t use up any leftovers so simply throw it away. We aim to show how easy Stilton is to use in everyday cooking to add some extra taste and you don’t need to use much thanks to the product’s unique flavour. That’s why we are suggesting tasty alternative recipes for people to try and ultimately reuse their unused food. Even the crust can be used, with many top chefs including it within casseroles and beef and Stilton pies. Some pet owners even feed the crust to their dogs as a treat.”

The SCMA is running a campaign called ‘Stick on the Stilton’ to encourage consumers to add Stilton to simple meals such as burgers or sandwiches as well as to cook with it.