Christmas food waste: Over 4 million festive dinners are thrown away each year

Last year, Britons wasted over four million Christmas dinners.

Marta Portocarrero
Friday 04 December 2015 10:38 GMT
Food waste during Christmas

What does Christmas mean to you? Dinner tables full of food? Turkeys, mince pies, puddings – all set with a Christmas tree in the background. It’s a common image this time of year; but it often ends in huge amounts of food being wasted.

Last year, 4.2 million Christmas dinners were wasted across the United Kingdom, according to Unilever. The figure is the equivalent to 263,000 turkeys; 7.5 million mince pies; 740,000 slices of Christmas pudding; 17.2 million Brussels sprouts; 11.9 million carrots and 11.3 million roast potatoes.

Each host spends an average of £112 on food alone, which amounts to £64 million of squandered food each Christmas.

We asked members of the public in south London's Brixton Village about food waste. Most admitted they cook too much because they were concerned it would not be enough for the entire family, and ended up wasting food.

Ilana Taub and Michael Minch-Dixon are among those who have tried to tackle food waste, and have created Snact, a company that makes fruit jerky snacks from surplus fruit which they buy directly from British farmers.

Ilana told The Independent: “In the UK, 50 per cent of the food is wasted at a home level and there is a lot we can all do to reduce food waste at home: like buying the right amounts; preserving; making smoothies or chutneys.”

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