It’s an association we’ll always make; great hoards of food alongside the festivities of Christmas. However, with last year seeing 4.2m festive meals being thrown away, it may now be time to include an additional word after ‘food’ - waste.
It’s a burning issue not just in this industry, but also throughout many others. With quantities of food waste continuing to grow at an alarmingly fast rate, many are calling for a complete overhaul of our behaviour when it comes to what we do with what’s left uneaten.
Christmas increasingly represents a perfect example of this issue, with the equivalent of 263,000 turkeys going to waste over the 2014 festive period. Perhaps the time of year most associated with food should become the one most associated with waste.
This isn’t just a problem in terms of the actual wasted goods, but also the financial implications this inevitably brings about. With the average host spending £112 on food each Christmas, a total of £64m worth of food is left untouched every year.
A recent survey by The Independent found that most prepare a surplus with the expectation of not having enough for the whole family - though the majority also find themselves shovelling at least some of their lengthily-prepared cuisine into the bin, despite it still being perfectly edible.
These figures are all the more unnerving when the rapidly rising numbers of those who spend the holidays on the streets are taken into account. With such large amounts of food going uneaten across UK homes, it’s difficult to see the logic in so many going hungry, something which initiatives such as Crisis at Christmas seek to draw attention to.
With just a few small changes in each household, these startling statistics can be kept under control. This year can be different: 2015 doesn’t have to maintain the trend.