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Attwood encourages retired people to jazz up leftover meals to avoid waste

Environment Minister Alex Attwood today highlighted numerous ways in which left over food could be used to make new recipes.
Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Minister outlined his Love Food Hate Waste tips during a visit to the Young at Heart exhibition at St George’s Market, Belfast. The exhibition is aimed at providing advice and guidance for the retired community in Northern Ireland.

Alex Attwood said: “Retired people can save money and help the environment by not ditching food, but by dishing up new recipes from leftovers. With a little bit of thought, you can create some delicious surprises from your leftovers - they don't have to mean second best.

“Stock up your cupboard with a variety of dried and canned goods - nuts, pasta, dried fruit, noodles and rice all have a long shelf life. It means you will always have the ingredients standing by to pull together a delicious meal or to jazz up your leftovers.”

The Minister also encouraged planning meals before shopping and making the most of fridges and freezers by checking use by dates and transferring as much as possible to the freezer.

He said: “In this current economic climate, retired people especially could do with more money in their pockets rather than in their bins.

“What I found most rewarding today was the exchange of information and ideas. Speaking with visitors, it was clear that many are already adept waste reducers who were eager to share their tips but were also picking up a few new ones from the Rethink Waste team.

“Many left with Love Food Hate Waste recipes and waste reducing items to pass on to their families. This ripple effect is very encouraging and also helps other generations rethink their waste, help the environment and start saving money.”

The UK throws away a staggering 8.3 million tonnes of food per year that costs the average family £680 in food wasted. Less than one fifth of this is truly unavoidable and this money could have been saved if only this food had been better planned and stored.

For information on how you can rethink your waste log on to or

Notes to editors:

  1. The Department of the Environment's Rethink Waste campaign aims to raise awareness, encourage best practice and achieve behavioural change among households, the business, community and education sectors. The campaign seeks to affect a cultural shift towards better waste prevention and resource management and improved environmental quality in Northern Ireland. For more information visit
  2. The campaign website is full of interactive hints and tips on purchasing, cooking and storing food to minimise food waste as well as over 170 recipes using typical leftovers. Love Food Hate Waste cookery demonstrations are also organised throughout Northern Ireland in conjunction with local councils.
  3. Figures on food waste are from the WRAP report “Household Food and Drink Waste in the UK” published in November 2009. The full report is available here:
  4. Photographs are available on request. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of the Environment Press Office on 028 9054 0003. Out of office hours, please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.