University Students Learn Essential Cooking SkillsUniversity of Winchester students have been learning how to make the most of their budgets and waste less food.

As part of Hampshire County Council’s Smart Living campaign to help all Hampshire residents waste less, groups of University of Winchester students have attended cooking classes to learn essential cooking techniques and the importance of meal planning to minimise to food waste.

Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment said: “It’s encouraging to see young adults taking a real interest in this. Learning how to cook without wasting ingredients is a life skill that will enable them to save money on food bills while reducing the amount of waste they produce.”

“Only 20% of us prepare meals for the week and UK homes continue to throw away £5.6 billion worth of food each year – simply because we didn’t get round to eating it in time. An average Hampshire family throws away £60 worth of food each month, and a recent report identified that young people under 24 spend more on food than anyone else because of a lack of cooking skills. I’m glad to see such a good take up from University of Winchester students who want to learn how to waste less and save more.”

Six voluntary Smart Living champions taught students a range of basic cooking skills including dicing vegetables and how to make a basic meat or vegetarian sauce that could be used as the building blocks for several different meals. Students learnt how to save money by making the most of the food they buy each month through actions such as meal planning, making the most of fridges and freezers and using up leftovers in new meals.

Liz Harris, Environmental Projects Assistant at the University of Winchester, said: “It was great to get the students creating tasty, healthy meals from a handful of simple ingredients while helping them to think about saving money on their food bills and making their meals go further. We hope they keep up their new found culinary and financial skills when cooking in their halls and houses!”

Hannah Harwood, who attended the cooking course, said: “’It was great and really useful to learn what to do with leftovers and how to measure out portion sizes.”

Smart Living is the County Council’s waste prevention and lifestyle initiative designed to help all Hampshire residents save money and reduce the amount of waste they produce through simple actions like reducing food waste and home composting.

Hampshire County Council is responsible for the disposal of all household waste collected across Hampshire. The amount of waste created is on the rise and therefore so are the associated costs to transport, process and dispose of this waste. Managing waste costs Hampshire councils around £100 million a year.

Learn about County Council’s Smart Living initiative

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