Shoppers should ignore the exotic recipes dreamed up by celebrity chefs and stick to processed food if they want to help cut Britain’s food waste problem, according to a new study.

Boffins from the University of Manchester said cooks on television encouraged consumers to buy ingredients they would never use again – and that their obsession with fresh produce contributes to the millions of tons of food thrown away each year.

“The pressure to cook and eat in the ways celebrity chefs advise means a lot of food is already at risk of getting thrown out,” said Dr David Evans, who led the study.

“A lot of so-called ‘proper food’ is perishable and needs to be eaten within a pretty narrow timeframe. Our erratic working hours and leisure schedules make it hard to keep on top of the food in our fridges and cupboards.”

Evans said the “pressure” to cook with fresh ingredients meant more food was thrown away.

“It would be foolish to ignore nutritional considerations but people will not reap the benefits of healthy food if they end up throwing it away,” he said.

Read more
Food Festivals: The new rock and roll (27 August 2011)
Jamie Oliver makes seafood debut with Young’s tie-up (17 August 2011)
New kids on the block: the next generation of celebrity chefs (12 March 2011)