Thursday 11 December 2014


Blogfest was an eye-opener for me, for many reasons but this one might shock you... I hold my hands up, I admit I waste far too much food in our family! I cook too much pasta, give Oliver bigger portions than he needs and over buy too but that all needs to stop because my eyes have been opened thanks to the lovely people I met on the Unilever stand at blogfest who were there telling us all about the #ClearAPlate campaign which is Unilever Project Sunlight working together with Oxfam to teach us all about food poverty and food waste. They asked us to take a little quiz and I didn't do very well, I didn't realise how many people are struggling in this country!
I am going to put this in bold because it needs to be heard... this is about our country, food poverty in the United Kingdom in 2014! I feel incredibly lucky that as of yet we haven't struggled to feed our family but to know that two doors down from us there could be parents going hungry to be able to feed their children makes me want to invite them round for dinner every day. I feel upset that my 'leftovers' and wasted food could go towards feeding another person. As a parent, you obviously would feed your children before yourself but the new research shows that a shocking 22% of families go without food so that they can actually feed there children, yet 75% of us continue to throw away perfectly good food that could be filling that hunger pain in someone else... it just makes you think doesn't it?!

I'm shocked at how much food is binned every day, 11,500 tonnes of food! Over half of that is still consumable so what are we doing? Waste not, want not. I agree with Unilever and Oxfam - no child should go to bed hungry.

The research shows that 42% of households struggle to live on their income, leaving 20% of them to borrow money from family or friends to feed themselves and their children. This needs to be something everyone in our country knows about, I know not everyone will be as shocked as me but I really like to think everyone will care. Food poverty and food waste are very big issues in the UK and that needs to change which is why Unilever Project Sunlight are supporting Oxfam's programme to provide 2 million meals to UK people in need, they've also started the #ClearAPlate campaign which will enable them to provide an additional 500,000 more meals.

People can show their support by following these three simple steps:
  1. Clear a plate of food and take a photo 
  2. Upload the photo to social media with the hashtag #ClearAPlate 
  3. Visit Project sunlight to see how else you can help
Did you know?
One in five UK families are living below poverty line
UK food banks emergency meals have tripled over the last year
11,500 tonnes of food is thrown away a day
This equates to £700 a year
The top three foods that us Brits are throwing away - bread, potatoes and milk.
Half of all the food waste comes from our homes, not shops or restaurants
Over the last 5 years the waste has reduced which is great but it needs to reduce more
More than half of the food/drink we throw away could have been eaten.

The food we as a family waste the most include fruit, veg and pasta - I buy too much and cook too much. I need to reduce my portion sizes and be wiser with my shopping list. I prefer going to the butchers daily so that I buy what I need when I need it.
Competition time, Unilever have chosen 10 bloggers from blogfest to give away one hamper each and I'm delighted to have been chosen as one of those bloggers because I feel so passionately about #ClearAPlate.

The giveaway hamper is worth £50 and will contain:
·         Colourful kitchen whisk
·         Measuring spoons
·         Fridge magnets with imperial/metric conversions
·         Measuring Jug
·         Multicoloured/stacking food containers
·         Reusable cupcake cases,
·         Egg Timer
·         Shopping list/meal planner notebook
·         Window planter with seeds
·         Leftovers Cookbook

To enter, please see the RaffleCopter below. I spent a few days thinking of creative ways to ask people to enter but then I realised it's Christmas soon and everyone is very busy so instead I'd like people to enter via the Rafflecopter by answering some questions and also tweeting - lots of sharing so that this #ClearAPlate campaign gets seen lots more.

Mary-Kate, x a Rafflecopter giveaway Brilliant blog posts on


  1. I went to the Oxfam HQ today to learn more about the campaign. It was so intense and we visited a foodbank and saw all the work in action.

    1. We're going to get some food for a food bank soon, we have been really touched by this campaign x

  2. I'm hosting the same competition, do you think I'd be allowed to enter yours seeing as I can't enter mine? The hamper looks fab! x

    1. I don't see why not, I'll enter your one too! hehe x

  3. Over here from #Brilliantblogposts. I definitely agree with you and wrote a post about it too. Constrasting the extent of food waste with food poverty makes one so sad. Well done for joining in with this campaign to raise its profile, raise awareness of poverty, and of course raise funds through Unilever to help OxfamGb support families in need :-)

  4. Comp Entry Q ans: vegetable is my main culprit; i end up not using it no time; but i'm trying to change this now, with more planning. Thankfully, our council has a food recyling scheme but my aim to ensure that only peels etc goes in it.

  5. The key changes for us is planning weekly meals, then weekly shopping, and then endeavouring to make sure we stick to it so that nothing goes off.

  6. salad - i really hate throwing it away

  7. Great competition and fab cause. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

  8. We throw away a lot of uneaten dairy products.

  9. We throw away a lot f salad things as they come in big packs and we just dont use it quick enough :( x

  10. We throw away milk that goes bad the most if we're not careful about it, along with fruit and vegetables we don't get to. I've been trying to be better at planning a few meals in a row that use the items. I also try to really use items getting near the use by date.

  11. vegetables or fruit that have not been eaten in time

  12. Left over food I mix in a stir fry

  13. I need to be more organised with meals and not buy more than needed to save wasting

  14. As a family, we try really hard not to have any food waste - Most of my leftovers get kept / frozen for next day lunches. Achieving Zero food waste is not as hard as it seems - just remember not to over cook and that 99% of excess food can be frozen and reused at a later date. My top tip is for stale bread - easily rustled up into a bread pudding for a quick and easy weekday pudding......

  15. Fruit and vegetables are foods that tend to get thrown away the most

  16. I think I'm going to have to start cooking more things like casseroles, to use vegetables up, instead of throwing away and blending the fruit, to make smoothies etc, will have to try and think of more ideas x


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