Leftovers give pupils food for thought

Pupils at Alfreton Grange Arts College got creative in the kitchen and learned to love their leftovers as part of a Derbyshire County Council campaign to reduce food waste.

Under the guidance of a trained chef, students set about making tasty pizza from leftovers and found out how to avoid wasting food.

Pupils also learned how better storage, a greater understanding of ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates and using leftovers can all help reduce the 62,100 tonnes of food we throw away in Derbyshire every year – enough to fill 25 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Caitlin Emerson, 11, said: “It was really good and I enjoy cooking. In future, I’ll think more about portions and how many people we’re cooking for to reduce food waste.”

Jacob Kirkland, also 11, added: “I learned that the UK wastes 4.4 million tonnes of food which could have been eaten and about planning meals to reduce wasted food. I’m going to persuade my parents to let me help to choose what to eat.”

Each child got a set of Love Food Hate Waste recipe cards and a spaghetti measurer to take home after the session organised by Resource Recovery Solutions (Derbyshire) Ltd – the county council’s waste contractors.

Food technology teacher Stella Adani said: “Students don’t usually value the usefulness of leftovers but they’ve learned about planning meals and writing shopping lists which will help them cut down on food waste. Hopefully they’ll take these messages home to their parents to help reduce food waste and save money.”

The school was one of four being targeted as part of the county council’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign.

Councillor John Allsop, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for Technology and Recycling, said: “Around 30% of waste that Derbyshire residents send to landfill is food waste. By being a bit smarter in the kitchen, the average household can shave around £50 a month from their shopping bill.”

He added: “We need to drastically reduce the amount of rubbish we send to landfill. Rotting food releases greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change. Landfill sites are filling up fast and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to bury waste which costs taxpayers’ money.”

For hints, tips and recipes designed to help reduce food waste visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com