FoodMaking food go further Food is a popular way many of us socialise and we spend a good amount of time and money on it. Yet 15 million tonnes of food and drink is thrown away every year. That's the same weight as 2 million double decker buses. Half of this is from our homes alone, costing £470 per household per year. You can help stop edible food from ending up in the bin. Tuck into the feast of events, blogs and recipes here and see how easy it is to make the most of your food, and save some money. 3 things you can do today Plan ahead. Take a moment to think about the week ahead - when will you be eating at home? Try and plan a couple of meals ahead, make a list of what you need to buy and only buy what you need. Freeze it. If you cook too much or forget to eat something near its use by date, chances are you can freeze it and eat it later. Eat your leftovers. If you cook too much or can't finish a meal, pack it for lunch. Even if you're eating out, ask for a doggy bag. Go a bit further - run your own campaign. Home Do something Top tips Recipes Blog Ideas bank Collaborate Food 5 facts about freezing food everyone should know In a flummox about freezing? Don't worry. We’ve done some research to help debunk common freezer myths! Myth 1: Frozen foods are less nutritious Not true. Frozen fruit and veg tend to be picked and frozen at the time of their peak ripeness – also their peak nutritional levels. Nutrient levels in frozen produce do inevitably decrease over many months, but overall they sure give fresh produce a run for its money. Myth 2: Freezers are expensive to run Well, not as expensive as a fridge! Together they contribute to 11% of your yearly electricity consumption, with 7% of that taken up by the fridge. Running costs depend upon how full the freezer is kept, its location, energy efficiency, frost levels and how often the door is opened. The difference in yearly running costs between an A++ grade freezer and a C grade freezer is around £200. Myth 3: Freezing food reduces its quality Not if you do it right. Air coupled with moisture is the enemy of frozen food; ice crystals are the tale-telling sign of freezer burn. Extracting air from packs, using tupperware to seal the deal and reducing the surface area exposed will see your goods through their hibernation. Smalls foods with large surface areas are most affected. Myth 4: There are lots of things that you can’t freeze Most things are easily frozen, bar strong liquor. There are a few others to avoid: fine vegetables practically disintegrate, whilst frozen creams are prone to curdle whilst thawing. Freezing canned foods, fizzy drinks and eggs in their shells is a no and coffee has a tendency to absorb freezer smells as its oils break down in the process. As for the rest? Full freeze ahead! Myth 5: You can't refreeze frozen food Refreezing food isn’t dangerous, the danger is that food can spoil before it’s been refrozen. Freezing food does not kill bacteria, it just ‘freezes’ its action, so to speak. So, once thawed bacteria continues to multiply at the same rate it was multiplying at before being frozen. Use our toss, freeze, cook guide to stay safe with freezer food. Toss if: Temperature went above 4°C, the temperature range in which food-borne bacteria can grow (roughly 4–5 to 60 °C). It smells funny, trust in your senses. You have any doubts. Refreeze if: Temperatures are still below 4 °C. Food should not have been kept out of the freezer for more than a couple of days, especially when it comes to meat. Thawed fruits dosen‘t smell bad or have any signs of mould. They will be softer but they won’t be off. It takes a long time for fruits to ferment and you usually know about it when they do! Vegetables are still solid and icy. If they have thawed do not refreeze, your nose may tell you this. Food is baked. Trusty old baked goods are pretty dry and therefore don’t change much in the freezer. Cook if: Raw meats are thawed, are still cold (under 4°C) but not icy. These can then be frozen after being cooked properly. Prepared foods have defrosted. The quality of the food is likely to deteriorate and it’s best to be on the safe side with mixed food groups in one dish. Raw Fish and Shellfish. Once cooked you can refreeze after, but do not refreeze raw. This is because it takes time to refreeze, time that bacteria use to keep growing and more time to thaw and cook before you eventually eat it. Wondering what should be kept out of the cold? Look no further than our guide to freezer friendly food.