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The Royal Highland Show demonstrates the best of our environment and what we can do to protect it

Scotland as a nation has an undoubted connection with its food and drink.

Iain Gulland | 21 Jun 19

This is a result of the care and value placed in what we grow, rear and develop over generations. Whether it is the patience to wait for a fine malt to mature or the knowledge of how to deliver the best quality of beef to the table, it is years of experience that has led us to where we are today.

Last week’s Royal Highland Show is a fantastic example of what this country has achieved. The event showcases our stewardship of resources, not just the animals but also the crops and the soil.

Very little has been wasted in the effort to deliver the finest of produce and it deserves to be fully celebrated and enjoyed.

While we might all enjoy what is being served up to us, generous portions may mean we can’t clear our plate. Simply throwing away what we haven’t been able to eat or drink in one sitting is a waste of the care, attention and resources that went in to providing our meals.

Beyond just throwing away this effort, food waste causes a significant problem to the planet by emitting greenhouse gases as all the energy and resources that went into getting food to our table are wasted too. On top of this, if food waste ends up in landfill it will generate even more emissions in the form of methane gas, many more times harmful than carbon dioxide. Indeed, if food waste was a country it would be the third worst polluter in the world – only the United States and China generate more emissions than those given off by food waste.

How often do you ask for a doggy bag if you are in a restaurant? Or if you are eating at home, does what’s left in the pan or on the plate get scraped into the bin?

Reheating the food or incorporating it into another dish the following day makes sense from a financial standpoint, the average Scottish home throws out more than £440 worth of food a year, as well as from an environmental one. If you can’t use it the next day, stick the food in the freezer to use at a later date.

There are any number of places to find recipes, including our own Love Food Hate Waste website, that can give you ideas of what you can do. We have also launched the Good to Go take away box to encourage people to take home what they can’t finish when dining out.

There is no reason not to enjoy our food and drink to the full. As the climate emergency threatens to change our world in ways we can only imagine, we can all play a part in protecting it by simply using up all the food we buy.

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