Photo of factory chickens via Shutterstock

A study by the UK government’s waste advisory body the Waste & Resources Action Programme (Wrap) reveals that UK households throw away the equivalent of six meals every week. Although avoidable household food waste has been cut by 21 percent to 4.2m tons since 2007, saving consumers almost £13bn a year, up to 24 meals a month and 4.2 million tons of wasted food and drink that could have been consumed goes to landfills instead.

Brits throw away 24 meals a month, top 10 most wasted food items in the UK, excessive food consumption in the UK, waste food produce in the UK, Waste & Resources Action Programme Report, meat and fish wastage in the UK, families throw out one fifth of the food they buyImage by jbloom

Half of the food that is thrown out goes straight from the fridge or cupboard into the trash, which means families often buy more than they need and have no choice but to get rid of the excess when it expires. The exact amount of wasted purchases is one-fifth of a household’s total shop, 60 percent of which could still be eaten.

The top three foods being thrown away uneaten in British homes are bread, potatoes and milk. The equivalent of 24 million slices of bread, 5.8 million potatoes and 5.9 million glasses of milk are wasted daily; even cakes and pastries make it into the top 10 most wasted items. Meat and fish wastage is another area where there is still a lot of room for improvement, especially as Britons still trash the equivalent of 96 million chickens every year.

Wrap’s report demonstrates that despite inroads, the UK still has a long way to go before it reigns in its excessive food consumption habits. In a world where hunger is rife, the money saved from more conservative spending habits could be put to better use teaching impoverished nations how to maintain their own food supplies.

Via The Guardian