In the United Kingdom we throw away nearly 10 million tonnes of food every year. The whole world throws away nearly 100 million tonnes.

Some of this gets wasted by manufacturers, some by retailers but an estimated 70% of it is down to households.

Why do we throw away so much food?

Put simply; we buy too much. Part of the fault can be laid at the doors of the supermarkets; it makes life easier for them if all vegetables come packed in convenient sizes for them, instead of us. This means that they can be quickly scanned through a checkout rather than every item being individually weighed. There is often too much in a pack for many people, particularly for those who live alone.

Another problem is that we are nowadays very picky. If part of a vegetable has been spoilt we throw it away rather than cut out the bad bit and eat the rest. We discard vegetables which look the'wrong' shape. with products like broccoli we eat the florets and throw away the stems, which contain the most nourishment. vegetables such as cauliflowers and cabbages can be larger than we need them to be, so we eat what we want and throw away the rest.

All this is highly wasteful not only of food but also of our hard earned money!

Are pre-prepared meals the answer?

Home delivery companies have boomed. Sales of essential insurance policies for delivery drivers, who only need insurance for a short time, are at all-time highs. Most of us have got used to the idea of ordering all sorts of goods online and then getting a knock on the door from the delivery driver the following day, and sometimes just within a few hours. Groceries are being delivered regularly nowadays, and there is a growth in having full meals, which are uncooked, delivered too.

What are the benefits of having uncooked meals delivered?

There is far less waste. Food manufacturers are far better organised to buy exactly what they need, and no more, than many householders. A meal can be delivered at any time of day; and sometimes several can be delivered at once, leaving the recipient to cook it at leisure. Recipes for more adventurous meals can be provided with the exact ingredients included with each food pack.

Many people lead extremely busy lives and visits to a supermarket to stock up on food can be a great strain on available time. Parking can be difficult and expensive, and fuel prices are expensive. More and more people are opting to live without a car of their own, and walking back from the shops with bulging shopping bags is not a prospect that many of us look forward to!

What are the disadvantages of having uncooked meals delivered?

Some others actually enjoy doing our own shopping! In particular we like to select the freshest produce, the tastiest looking vegetables and fruit, the best bargain ingredients. When food packs are delivered we have known means of knowing which country the contents originated from, how natural they are, how long it has been since they were picked.

There is also a cost factor. someone has to pack and pick ingredients for each recipe; delivery drivers have to be paid and receive their expenses. However like every market there are occasions when having the choice of a full, ready to cook a meal delivered to the door within a short time can come in very handy. Perhaps there is a business idea in this for you?

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