The communities of Tuamgraney and Scarriff have participated in series of workshops aimed at helping householders to reduce the estimated €700 worth of food that is wasted annually in every Irish home.
Clare County Council, in conjunction with the Stop Food Waste campaign, recently ran four workshops covering a range of issues including meal planning, smart shopping, awareness of what is being wasted, proper food storage and composting methods.
Mary Cassidy, Chair of Tuamgraney Development Association said: “Our group were very keen to learn how to cut down on food waste as it is relevant for every one of us. The challenge has been informative and enjoyable at the same time, and has given rise to many conversations from outside the shop to after Mass. It’s got us all talking”.
“We set out to achieve an overall reduction of 25%, but we have, in fact, achieved an astounding reduction of 78.5% (3 times our target). This works out at 6.79 kgs per household, the equivalent weight of nearly 7 bags of sugar. We thought we were already good, but it shows that there is scope for us all to reduce food waste even further,” Ms. Cassidy added.
Joan Tarmey, Environmental Awareness Officer said the workshops saw 11 householders from East Clare working together to reduce their food waste and save money in the process.
She continued: “My colleague, Karen Foley, and I have been privileged to guide participants through this pilot Stop Food Waste challenge over 4 workshops. The results have even surprised us. We weren’t sure they could cut back much more, but we’re delighted they did.”
“Foods such as potatoes, bread, pasta, and salads are the most common items we throw out. By monitoring what items we waste, we can work out why we waste them and work on preventing food waste. Food waste is immoral and expensive. I would like to commend this group for their wonderful work on spreading the message to friends and family by word of mouth and through Facebook. This is set to continue long after the challenge is completed,” Ms. Tarmey concluded.
Further information on food waste prevention is available from the Environment Section on 065 6846386 or on the Council’s website: http://www.clarecoco.ie/water-waste-environment/education-and-awareness and www.stopfoodwaste.ie.