Friday, 18 December 2009

New campaign to seek out UFOs

New research into freezer use from Love Food Hate Waste in our homes, reveals a third of us find food in the freezer we had forgotten about or can't identify.

‘Unidentified Frozen Objects’ in our freezer are estimated to be worth £860m, but doubts about freezing a wider variety of foods, and a belief that freezing is only for long-term storage, means that we are taking the freezer for granted.

Food that is thrown away which could have been frozen adds to the food waste problem.

In the run up to Christmas when the freezer comes into its own, West Lindsey’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign is calling on us all to find out what's inside our freezers. By making meals from what is already there we can save money, postpone our regular shop and make room for new festive foods, homemade meals and those inevitable leftovers.

Cllr. Irmgard Parrott, Conservative (Cherry Willingham Ward), Chairman of the Community and Waste Committee of West Lindsey District Council, is calling householders across the district to join the ‘Freezer Expedition’ at lovefoodhatewaste.com this weekend in preparation for the festive season.

West Lindsey Love Food Hate Waste spokesperson, Elaine Bilton, explains:
“The Freezer Expedition is a journey into the unknown for some of us. Our new
findings show that most of us would never freeze traditional Christmas foods if
we've over catered, even though freezing means we can choose to eat them later.
So West Lindsey's Love Food Hate Waste campaign is giving myth busting advice on
what we can freeze - and it's practically everything.”
Christmas cake, leftover turkey, potatoes and any extra stilton can all be frozen for another time.

Based on 2008 figures, households are about to spend more than £520m on Christmas dinner alone this year. So, starting the season with more room to freeze our Christmas foods and leftovers should help us all save money and reduce our food waste.

You can watch TV personality Sue Perkins at lovefoodhatewaste.com taking part in her own ‘Freezer Expedition’ and discovering practical tips as she goes. Sue says:
“The freezer is just like a ‘pause’ button to help save foods – it’s no longer a
dark, distant place to me.”
The website also features a new range of freezable family meals to make at home, many of which can be cooked straight from frozen for convenience over the holidays.
Top freezer tips from Love Food Hate Waste:
  1. Food can be frozen at any point up to the end of the ‘use by’ date
  2. If you defrost raw meat and then cook it thoroughly, you can freeze it again. Just take care to defrost thoroughly and re-heat until piping hot
  3. Freezing fresh foods and home-cooked meals is a great way to save food for later, sealing in the goodness until you are ready to eat it - freeze in portions or ‘meals’
  4. Almost any food (including hard cheese, milk, mashed potato, bread, homemade meals and cakes) can be frozen - check the website for more information
  5. Cooked food should be cooled before transferring into the freezer
  6. It is safe to defrost food at room temperature, provided you intend to eat it as soon as it's thawed. Or defrost in the fridge overnight and plan to eat within 2 days
  7. Labelling and dating foods before you put them in the freezer will help avoid 'UFOs' in the future
  8. You can prepare ahead for Christmas by parboiling your potatoes and freezing them
  9. If you're going away this Christmas don't forget you can freeze any unused milk before you go
  10. If you're struggling to get your portions right why not go to lovefoodhatewaste.com and use our portion calculator to find out exactly how much you need to cook Christmas dinner

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