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Only buy things that you really need. Most of what we throw away could be used again. Think twice before you put something in the bin

The Meaning of Pancake Day

If you are having pancakes this Shrove Tuesday you are, whether you know it or not, taking part in an important tradition of waste reduction.

The tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday stems from the Christian practise of feast and fast on the run up to Easter. When the practice began, the ingredients we know from our pancake batter, eggs, milk and fats, were considered luxury items, along with fish and meat. While meat and fish could be preserved by drying or salting, milk and eggs could not. Enter the pancake as a convenient last-minute treat before embarking on 40 days of fasting for Lent.

Nowadays, regardless of the religious history behind them, eating pancakes on Pancake Day has become a national habit. While eggs and dairy products are now considered everyday essentials, still it remains a day where we can treat ourselves to a delicious dessert while also using up a few key perishable ingredients. This message of loving your food and saving waste is still very relevant today.

As a nation we currently throw away 660,000 eggs and 360 million litres of milk every year. Read that again and think how many pancakes we could have made. The answer is almost 4 MILLION pancakes with the best part of 300 million litres of milk still to spare.

So the message to take away this Pancake Day? Today, more than ever, it is important to recognise the value of food and to aim to reduce how much gets wasted. The pancake is just one example of how we can use up leftover ingredients rather than throwing them away. So take a look in your fridge, the veg basket and the kitchen cupboards and see what you already have. Make yourself a feast and help to reduce what goes needlessly to landfill.

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