Do you find you throw out a significant amount of food?
Well, this independent study by experts at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) has found British families were able to cut their waste by a staggering 47.5 per cent simply by eating frozen food.
A two-week long experiment saw The Manchester Food Research Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University ask 20 families to eat one week of meals from fresh ingredients, and then the same meals the following week from frozen ingredients, and to then compare the cost, taste and waste.
The study, commissioned by Iceland, revealed cooking with frozen food offered significantly better value, and was therefore considered less wasteful, with many families agreeing their frozen meals tasted either as good, or better, than fresh.
This follows a report published by Wrap in January 2017 which found the estimated household food waste for 2015 was 7.3 million tonnes, an increase from the 7 million tonnes of 2012.
Comparisons of costs and waste in the MMU study were based on quantitative data drawn from diaries and qualitative data from focus groups. Families completed diaries to record information on their breakfast, lunch and evening meal for seven days in both the 'fresh' and the 'frozen' week.
Frozen food was also found to be more convenient - families could take it out as and when they needed it, with 17 out of 20 wasting less when it came to the frozen week. On average, considering the three families who had more frozen waste, there was an overall reduction of 47.48 per cent in frozen week reduction.
When it came to cost, the study revealed 18 of the 20 families found frozen provided better value (29.9 per cent better value) and there was a total overall saving of £752.43 when using frozen too (£1,764.01 compared to £2,516.44), with the average saving amounting to £37.62 per week.
There was a mixed reaction when it came to the taste of frozen food compared to fresh, but items including frozen pastries, fruit, vegetables, mashed potato and fries (particularly sweet potato fries) proved very popular. In the end, fresh food beat frozen by seven points (150.7 vs 144). However, it was generally agreed that frozen tasted as good as fresh and the participants would look to buy more frozen items in the future, especially as they now understood it more.
Iceland's Head Chef, Neil Nugent, said: "The results of this independent study are really promising with many newcomers to frozen particularly impressed by the huge waste reduction, range and quality of food available, as well as the cost, convenience and taste."
"The families involved have said they will increase the amount of frozen food they use and cook with a mixture of fresh and frozen – nutritionally they are the same so this is a great direction to go in."