Defra statistics reveal 15% of edible food and drink purchases wasted

Fifteen percent of all the food and drink purchases that could have been eaten were wasted in 2008, according to statistics released this month by Defra.

They also showed that different types of food and drink were wasted at different rates, with potatoes and vegetables being among the most commonly thrown out foodstuffs with 24 per cent of it wasted by householders. But bread scored highest with 32 per cent of purchases wasted.

Twenty per cent of edible fruit purchases were wasted, meaning that an equivalent of 0.8 of a portion of edible fruit and vegetables was wasted per person per day.

The figures also showed that households buy on average the equivalent of 3.4 edible portions of fruit and vegetables per person per day - meaning that people are most likely eating 2.3 portions fewer than their recommended minimum of five a day.

The statistics link, for the first time, Waste & Resources Action Program survey Household Food and Drink Waste in the UK and Defra's Family Food report of household food purchases in 2008. This was done by mapping the food waste findings to food purchase categories.

The precision of the estimates was limited by the precision of the two surveys and the figures quoted were rounded to appropriate significant figures to take this into account.

Waste of edible fruit and vegetables was equivalent to 0.8 portions per person per day. Therefore, the average household was consuming 2.7 portions of fruit of vegetables.


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