This Vegetable-Filled London Home Reveals The Shocking Reality Of Food Wastage

April Curtin April Curtin


We knew our eyes were bigger than our bellies but…

Welcome to the house of f… ood waste: the residential London home that has been temporarily transformed using 3.75 tonnes of food, to highlight the huge amount of avoidable food waste produced by households in the capital each year.

Jonathan Hordle/PA Wire

Small Change, Big Difference is the name of the campaign behind this eye-opening exhibition, which displays the amount of food binned by just 14 households over the course of a year.

Jonathan Hordle/PA Wire

The living installation shows how well over half of all food waste produced in the UK every year comes from households. London alone produced a shocking 910,000 tonnes of food waste annually, which equates to more than seven million wheelie bins! 😰

The campaign aims to raise awareness about the city’s food waste, which, if sent to landfill, would be responsible for releasing more than 420,000 of CO2 into the atmosphere each year…

Jonathan Hordle/PA Wire

The ‘House of Food Waste’ kicks off the start of the week-long campaign, which is taking place across the capital to raise awareness about sustainable eating and food waste. They are offering Londoners tips and advice on how to store, cook and portion food correctly – such as freezing bread and going meat free once a week.

The campaign has also revealed the top ten foods wasted within London homes areas:

  1. Potatoes: 90,000 tonnes every year. That’s 560,000 every day!
  2. Bread: 2.6 million slices every single day
  3. Pork: 13,000 tonnes each year
  4. Poultry: 100,000 tonnes per year
  5. Carrots: 350,000 each day
  6. Cake: 9,600 tonnes per year
  7. Apples: 100,000 each day
  8. Breakfast Cereal: 7,600 tonnes each year
  9. Lettuce: 11,000 each day
  10. Yoghurt: 6,400 tonnes every year
Jonathan Hordle/PA Wire 

Twelve London boroughs are supporting the cause by hosting numerous events including workshops and cookery demonstrations, helping residents to reduce and recycle food waste in their council collection and eat more sustainably.

Most London boroughs offer residents food recycling collections so they can turn inedible waste food into energy or compost, so the Small Change, Big Difference campaign is also asking people to use this for things like peelings, bones and eggshells. Boroughs who do not currently have a separate food waste collection have been asked by the Mayor to introduce one for all street-level households by 2020, to make sure that as little food waste as possible is sent to landfill; helping hit London’s recycling and carbon reduction targets. 💪

Jonathan Hordle/PA Wire

And before you panic, we can confirm that the food used in the ‘House of Food Waste’ was definitely not wasted – all leftovers were donated to London charity City Harvest, where they were redistributed to organisations that feed people in need, as well as offered to residents of the street.

For more information Londoners should visit the Small Change, Big Difference website.

The London boroughs supporting the campaign are:

  1. Brent
  2. City of London
  3. Hackney
  4. Islington
  5. Lambeth
  6. Lewisham
  7. Richmond
  8. Sutton 
  9. Merton
  10. Croydon  
  11. Kingston Upon Thames
  12. Southwark
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