This is the true cost of the food you waste

This Zero Waste Week take a look at the environmental and financial cost of the food you throw away. It's Fresh's new online calculator puts a planet wide price on your food waste.

Alice Pritchard 3 September 2018

When you chuck that half a bag of spinach away or the odd over ripe banana, do you know what the total cost of that waste is? 

We're not just talking about the money you've spent on buying fruit and veg, but the money invested in getting fresh produce to your local supermarket or shop.

According to the UN, an area larger than China, and 25% of the world’s fresh water supply, is used to grow food that is never eaten, costing the average family in the UK over £700 a year.

Food tech company It's Fresh have come up with an innovative online calculator that estimates the environmental impact as well as financial cost to the consumer based on what you bin each week. 

It's an eye opening exercise that reminds consumers that our food choices massively impact the planet.

It’s Fresh! founder Simon Lee says: “We are proud to launch this calculator to help consumers understand more about the precious resources that go into the food we eat – and waste. When you throw food away you’re not just wasting the food itself, but all the time, energy, water, labour and materials used to grow, transport and store it. We hope that the calculator will bring this important issue to life for consumers, and help everyone better understand that when we waste food, we waste everything.”

Tessa Clarke, co-founder of food sharing app OLIO, who is supporting It’s Fresh! in its fight against food waste, says: “We believe that small actions can lead to big change. Collectively we can build a more sustainable future where our most precious resources are shared, not thrown away. The food waste calculator is a great way for all of us to get a better understanding of the implications of throwing away unwanted food. It’s easy to forget that little things add up and we’re now looking at a big problem that needs a collective effort to make real change.”

But it's not the only thing that It's Fresh! has designed. It has come up with a stamp sized filter that absorbs ethylene – the ripening hormone released by fruits and some vegetables. This filter can increase the shelf life of fruit & vegetables by up to four days and is already used in leading UK supermarkets including Morrisons, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose.

Try the It's Fresh food waste calculator here.

Alice Pritchard 3 September 2018

Share this article