ENVIRONMENT Minister and local MP Rebecca Pow spoke with Bridgwater and Taunton College catering students about the importance of reducing food waste.

The Minister visited the college’s restaurant, which is staffed and run by the students and is open to the public, to learn the creative ways they had found to prepare ingredients for the day’s service.

Students explained the methods they used to ensure nothing was wasted.

As well as making flavoured oils out of left-over herbs and planning menus around limiting waste, students were weighing the amount of waste every day in an exercise to visualise and reduce the amount of total waste created.

Ms Pow, who is the Minister for food waste, said: “It is disappointing how much food goes to waste in this country.

“The UK throws away almost 10 million tonnes of food every year.

“This not only contributes to climate change when gases are emitted as waste food decomposes but it is a waste of peoples’ valuable time, preparing food just to throw it away, not to mention the cost implications.

“These students are learning valuable skills in how to make excellent food with little to no waste.

“From creating zero waste stocks and flavoured oils to using seasonal local produce, it is fantastic that this next generation of chefs will be using their skills to reduce the impact food waste can have.”

Over the past decade the Government has taken action on the issue including providing significant annual funding to organisations such as WRAP, leading to a significant drop in food waste over the past 15 years.

Action on food waste is part of the Government’s Environmental Improvement Plan 2023 commitment to build a truly circular and sustainable economy.

The Ministerial visit took place to coincide with Food Waste Action Week, a celebrity-led annual series of events highlighting the problem of food waste and ways people can reduce the food they waste at home.

Food Waste Action Week is run by WRAP in partnership with the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs.

People can out more about how to reduce food waste by visiting https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com or the WRAP website https://wrap.org.uk/taking-action/food-drink.