Seven in 10 British households admit to throwing away food before they’ve had a chance to cook it, as many as four times a month. And a tenth of families dispose of up to 10 items each month that have gone off before being used.
Combined with cooking too much per meal, this leads to 2.23 kilograms of food being thrown out monthly that could have been saved.
A poll of 2,000 adults revealed that rather than having a wasteful mentality, almost half of the country's careless cooks admit to preparing too much food at mealtimes. 47 per cent of the nation say they struggle with portion control – by preparing too much food, or struggling to serve themselves healthy sized portions.
How to cut down on food waste
Incorrectly thinking they could tell how much of an ingredient was needed just by eye was among the top reasons for Brits not knowing how much to prepare for their dinners, along with a perception that cooking too much is better than rustling up too little.
And more than one in 10 believe that they simply don't have time to weigh out ingredients before cooking them, leading to more waste.
Futurologist James Bellini, speaking on behalf of home appliance brand Grundig who commissioned the research, says: "Given the crucial importance of food issues over the coming decades the level of general awareness and concern is surprisingly low. But looking ahead to the 2020s and beyond to the 2030s it seems clear that emerging technologies, changing attitudes and greater commitment within the business and political communities could spark a new era for food.
"In which tackling waste and providing healthy and wholesome eating for all in a sustainable way will move significantly up the agenda."
Pasta and rice were revealed to be the most common dishes that Brits prepare far too much of, followed by potatoes and fresh veg.
On average, adults waste more than a tenth of each meal they prepare – throwing it away rather than finishing it. And 49 per cent of the population don't bother recycling their food waste, sending it straight to the main bin with their other rubbish.
Nearly a third don't recycle food waste because they find the idea of a bin for rotting food off-putting. And despite evidence to the contrary, a quarter believe they simply don't waste enough food for a dedicated waste bin to be viable.
FOODS MOST LIKELY TO GO OFF BEFORE USE 1. Bread 2. Bananas 3. Salad leaves 4. Milk 5. Potatoes 6. Cooked meats 7. Carrots 8. Cream 9. Yoghurt 10. Apples