Love Food Hate Waste has joined forces with Leeds butchers, Wilsons, as the campaign reveals that every year people in the UK throw away 34,000 tonnes of beef - the equivalent to 300 million beef burgers.

Research carried out by Love Food Hate Waste shows much of the waste, worth £260 million annually*, could be avoided by taking simple steps, such as planning meals in advance, understanding date labels, storing food better, serving the right portions and cooking with leftovers.

According to its new poll, just over one third of people who buy beef in Leeds (38%) plan their meals in advance and purchase only the amount they need.

But beef is popular in Leeds kitchens – spaghetti Bolognese was named the city’s favourite beef dish and nearly a quarter (24%) picked it as their most frequent beef dish to eat at home. This was followed by a traditional roast beef dinner (19%) and beef stew (12%).

However, not everyone got around to using it up. One in five (19%) Leeds residents who bought beef said it had gone to waste as they had left it to go past the use by date. 12% admitted they’d thrown it out after leaving it uncovered or in an open packet.

The suitability for a recipe (30%) and the quality of the product (19%) and were the two most important factors to shoppers when buying beef, while 13% of respondents in Leeds were tempted by a deal or special offer.

Richard Swannell from Love Food Hate Waste said: “Our research has shown that despite our love of beef, we still throw away hundreds of millions of pounds worth every year in the UK, with a weight equivalent to 300 million burgers (alternatively this is the weight of 150 million steaks†).

That’s why we’ve launched our Meaty Issues campaign, to encourage people in Leeds to get the best out of their beef and other meats, saving them money and helping the environment.”

John and Andrew Green of Wilsons, an award-winning butchers based in Crossgates, are also backing the campaign.

He said: “Beef is a very versatile meat – there are lots of different cuts and joints to choose from, which is why it remains very popular. There are also lots of ways to make it go further – using up leftovers, utilising unused portions in a wide range of recipes or freezing it for future use, so there’s no real excuse for wasting it if you have some that hasn’t been used up.

By speaking to your local butcher, on the high street or in a supermarket, you can make sure you buy the best type and quantity of beef to suit your needs, get advice about preparation and storage, and ensure you get the best value for money. We think Love Food Hate Waste’s Meaty Issues campaign is a great idea and I’m right behind it.”

Richard added: “If you’re like the 80% of people in Leeds who have leftovers after their Sunday roast, the Love Food Hate Waste website has lots of handy hints and top tips about how to make the best of your beef and other meats. We’d encourage everyone to save money and reduce waste by giving some of them a try.”

Love Food Hate Waste is also on the hunt for Leeds’ best leftover beef and meat recipes. To find out more and learn more about the Meaty Issues campaign, visit:

Top tips for getting the best from beef from Love Food Hate Waste

  • Leftover roast beef doesn’t have to be used just in a sandwich – it works brilliantly in a cottage pie, a soup or shredded and added to a stir-fry.
  • Not enough beef to go around? Add some chick peas or kidney beans to Mexican meals or curry to make dinner more filling and save money on meat.
  • Remember to check date labels so you know when your beef needs to be used by.
  • Going shopping for beef? Plan ahead by using Love Food Hate Waste’s handy portion planner to get the perfect amount.
  • If you’ve found a great special offer or don’t want to use all of your beef at once, freeze some for another day and use when needed.
  • It is perfectly OK to freeze cooked meat and small portions freeze best. Then it can be added from frozen to your dish. The most important thing is to ensure that when you are reheating the meat that it is piping hot all the way through before serving.
  • Check out Love Food Hate Waste’s recipe finder for ways to use smaller portions and cheaper cuts to make delicious meals.

And there are lots of other ways to make the most of ALL of your meat:

  • Before roasting a chicken, cut the wings off. Wrap them tight and freeze them. After three or four roasts you’ll have enough wings to cook for another meal.
  • Freeze leftover sausage to make tasty sausage rolls.
  • If you buy a big pack of bacon, rashers can be frozen easily by putting greaseproof paper between them. Then you can cook from frozen whenever you are treating yourself to a weekend fry-up.

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