By Jasper Copping
Householders are to be visited by officials offering advice on cooking with leftovers, in a Government initiative to reduce the amount of food that gets thrown away.
Home cooks will also be told what size portions to prepare, taught to understand “best before” dates and urged to make more use of their freezers.
The door-to-door campaign, which starts tomorrow, will be funded by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a Government agency charged with reducing household waste.
The officials will be called “food champions”. However, they were dismissed last night as “food police” by critics
The officials, each of whom has received a day’s training, will paid up to £8.49 an hour, with a bonus for working on Saturdays.
The pilot scheme, which will cost £30,000, could be extended nationwide if it is seen as a success. If all 25 million households in the UK were visited in the same way, 8,000 officials would be required at a cost of tens of millions of pounds.
Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “[…] In the grip of a recession, the last thing people need is someone bossing them about in their own kitchen.
“Worse still, the money for this scheme will come directly out of taxpayers’ pockets, […]”
The project is part of WRAP’s “Love Food Hate Waste” campaign, which has so far cost £4 million. The organisation says food waste has a significant environmental impact, in terms of the carbon generated to grow, transport and package items […]
The “food champions”, who will be employed by a private contractor, […]
In addition to knocking on doors, the officials will leave a leaflet at every address they call at.
Julia Falcon, from WRAP, said: “A number of councils want to support our Love Food Hate Waste campaign. In the scheme of things, this is a fairly modest cost to the taxpayer to test this approach.”
Tim Burns, from Waste Watch – the contractor carrying out the scheme for WRAP – said: “Food waste has such a high impact on climate change and it is something we can all do something about.”
He defended the amount of paper that would be used by the 24,500 leaflets produced by the scheme.