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Size matters

July 22, 2010

I said medium!

I was very lucky. I grew up in a house where my plate was always stacked high. At all times, there was ‘more if you finish that’. Like I was ever going to make a dent in the mountain of meat and veg constructed high on my plate.

‘Better too much than too little’, we thought – it was better to leave some, than to be left hungry.

Back then we didn’t know what we know now. In Scotland we throw away 566,000 tonnes of food waste every year.

Sheila opted for low fat mayo and a diet cola

If only my dad (who has a sixth sense and still knows immediately when someone’s turned the central heating up a touch and who bellowed on many an occasion when I left a door open that he was ‘not paying to heat the street’) had known that we were contributing to food waste costing him somewhere in the region of £430 a year.

We also didn’t appreciate the cost to the environment. Food waste sent to landfill gives off methane, a greenhouse gas many times more damaging than carbon dioxide. If we could stop wasting food on this scale it would prevent the equivalent of 1.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year – roughly the same as taking one car in every four off Scotland’s roads.

Now we know, we can look at each area where we waste food and take steps to reduce it. Portioning is a good place to start and there are tools available to help us.

Love Food Hate Waste has developed a portion planner that helps you size portions perfectly. You simply tell it how many people you’re cooking for and what you’re cooking and it’ll tell you how much you need.

Portion sizes for fruit and vegetables are even taken from the NHS 5-a-day guidelines and are a great way of making sure you meet your recommended amount.

So, size matters – overused cliché or a mantra for portioning?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Carbalicious permalink
    July 22, 2010 7:11 pm

    I spotted this on Twitter and had a read, so handy as I foolishly offered to cook tonight so I was able to measure just the right amount of pasta for my flatmate and I….not gonna lie, I weighed the 200g and added a smidge more….I can’t resist the cheesy lure of macaroni!

    Thanks again!

  2. Ross Burns permalink
    July 23, 2010 8:58 am

    You’re very welcome.

    The planner is a great tool, but you’re right, it should be used as a guide, adding and taking away from portion sizes depending on how hungry you feel.

    And the beauty of macaroni is that you can always chill any extra for a free lunch the following day or freeze some for later.


  3. October 19, 2010 5:27 pm

    Yes, portion size is a huge culprit for food waste. Here in the US food waste is an even bigger problem. One of my favorite recent articles on avoiding food waste is here:


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