31 October, 2022

It’s time to get creative in the kitchen to reduce food waste

Louise Taylor


Households struggle with food waste, and grocers can find ways to help. Waitrose is the latest UK supermarket to announce that it will remove ‘best before’ dates from fruit and vegetable products. The retailer will remove dates from nearly 500 products from September 2022. It follows M&S’s removal of best before dates on 300 fruit and vegetable items last month. Tesco did the same in 2018.

Time to embrace change

Andrew Clappen, Director of Food Technology at Waitrose, says that the removal of best before dates is about “galvanising our customers to get creative with leftovers and embrace change.”

The need to reduce food waste is a key driver of this. According to Marija Rompani, the John Lewis Partnership’s Director of Sustainability and Ethics, “UK households throw away 4.5 million tonnes of edible food every year, meaning that all the energy and resources used in food production is wasted.”

Removing best before dates will encourage people to rely on their common sense when it comes to throwing out food. Many products are edible well beyond their best before dates; it is only ‘use by’ dates that relate to food safety. Yet removing best before dates is just the start.

“Removing best before dates from fresh fruit and vegetables is a great start,” comments Northfork Co-founder Erik Wallin. “We also need to support consumers to get creative in the kitchen. Recipes are ideal for using up leftover ingredients. They can also save shoppers money at mealtimes.”

Reducing food waste through recipes

Have you got a couple of blackened bananas in your fruit bowl? Great – make banana bread! Are there leftover vegetables starting to shrivel in your fridge? Excellent – time to get out the soup pan! Whatever leftovers you have, all you need is a recipe and you’ll be able to whip up something tasty.

This is where Northfork’s product to recipe API comes in. The innovative technology supports the reduction of food waste by personalising recipe suggestions as the consumer shops. It takes account of items in the shopper’s basket, the recipes they’ve already shopped from and store-cupboard items that they’ve purchased recently. The API then serves up recipe suggestions that support the sharing of ingredients across multiple dishes.

“Reducing food waste is about thinking creatively – and cooking creatively,” explains Wallin. “The Northfork product to recipe API makes that easy.”

About the author

Louise Taylor

Louise is Northfork’s editor and is passionate about all things food.