Bread is one of the most ancient and symbolic foods of mankind. So what does it say about us that every day, in the UK alone, we throw 24 million slices of bread in the bin? In terms of calories, that would be enough to lift over 26 million people out of hunger.
Avoiding bread waste is so simple. Only buy what you need. Store in a relatively cool place (like an airtight tin, cloth bag, or tea towel). Never store bread in the fridge as it will dry out. Nor in plastic bags - this leads to moisture and mould. Try moistening and re-baking bread after a couple of days. And then freeze before it goes stale.
The waste issue doesn’t end there. Most bread is stored in soft plastic bags –these end up in landfill with the mouldy bread. Soft plastics – anything “scrunchable” - are recyclable in theory, but the reality is different. Soft plastics can only be recycled in specialised facilities. And they can only be recycled once, into hard plastic, to make park benches. How many park benches do we need? We can’t all be sitting around in parks.
To avoid soft plastics, buy loose loaves in your own bread bag, or even better, make your own bread! It’s easier than you think, and everyone loves the smell of freshly baked bread (probably even gluten-intolerant people!).
Still stuck with leftover bread? Guess what, you’re not the first. Whoever invented croutons, french toast, schnitzel or bruschetta had the same issue! Get creative and use up your stale bread.
If you want to do even more to fight bread waste, try Toast Ale beer. Craft beer brewed in the UK from bread loaves that would have gone to landfill – it's the best thing since.. well, you know.