Oxfordshire’s very own zero waste hero Anna Pitt published her second major book earlier this month, and it’s all about reducing food waste.
Leftover Pie shows you the importance of food waste reduction and gives practical ideas and solutions to this major world problem. Tracing the history of food waste over the last 100 years, the book looks at how we have arrived at a food waste crisis point. Then, without beating ourselves up about it, Leftover Pie shares tips and recipes to help us tackle the problem and make the most of what we have.
With contributions by top chefs, food writers, food bloggers, and food waste campaigners, Leftover Pie shows why loving our leftovers is today’s hot topic.
We caught up with Anna to find out a bit more about what’s inside her Leftover Pie!:
- You’ve written a lot about waste reduction – how do you stay so motivated to reduce waste?
I think the best motivation for reducing waste is the buzz I get from getting creative and making my food go further. In the past, when I have thrown food away, I felt a sense of shame. All that carbon footprint, energy, water and hard work that went into producing the food and then my own time, effort and hard-earned cash that went into getting it into my kitchen and onto my table all just wasted. That hurts.
Another thing I really like is that knowing I’m going to get every last bit of goodness out of my food, means that I feel I can buy really good food. I am not afraid to pay a bit more for my food when I know it means it will stretch further, give more nutrition, and more taste.
- Why did you decide to focus on food waste for your latest book? What do you hope the book with achieve?
When I was researching my first book, 101 Ways to Live Cleaner and Greener for Free, I went to see the head of waste and recycling at my local council. He asked me to tackle food waste first, because it is what makes the biggest difference to them, financially. I sort of did that with my first book, as I devoted the first chapter to reducing food waste. But I knew then, from the research I carried out, that it really did need a whole book to itself. That’s why I wrote Leftover Pie. I hope that Leftover Pie will help people understand why food waste is such a big problem, and then I hope that people will find a few things that they can relate to, so they can take another step towards reducing their food waste, whether they are producing a mountain of waste on a weekly basis or even if they are pretty good with their food but want to get even more from less.
- Do you think people worry about food waste generally?
I read somewhere that only 3% of people in the UK feel shame at throwing away food. But that’s not my experience, when I go out and about talking to people about their food. I think a lot of people worry about the price of food and would like to save money on their weekly shopping. The best way to do that, is of course to make sure nothing is wasted. A lot of people think that reducing food waste is beyond their control, because there has been so much publicity about the food waste caused by supermarkets, but in fact 50% of food waste is from within the home. That means it is food that we have paid for, shopped for, sometimes even prepared and cooked, that is going to waste, which is awful, but on the other hand, it means it is within our control to do something about it.
- What advice would you give someone who wants to start reducing the amount of food they waste?
My top tip for reducing food waste is simply to buy less. I think we are all afraid of having nothing left I the fridge at the end of the week. But with a bit of planning and s good store cupboard repertoire we can change that. If all we had left in the fridge before a weekly shop was a few eggs and a spring onion, we wouldn’t starve. Add a tin of baked beans and make an omelette and there’s a meal – tasty and nutritious. If we get into the habit of buying less and using everything we have before we replenish, there’s less likelihood of finding a yoghurt with a blue fur coat in the back of the fridge. Check out my blog post for more tips on how to get started with waste reduction on the leftover pie blog: https://leftoverpie.co.uk/2017/08/07/10-top-tips-for-reducing-food-waste/
Leftover Pie: 101 ways to reduce your food waste is out now on Kindle, 8th September in paperback, available to pre-order now.