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How much food will end up in the trash this holiday season?

In the poll, 61 percent admit that they overbuy food.

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Holiday food waste: The poll found 31 percent admit to wasting more food than usual at this time of year. (SWNS)

By Oliver Lewis, 72Point via SWNS

Nearly 13 percent of our Christmas food will end up in the trash this festive season, a poll has revealed.

A poll of 2,000 UK adults, who celebrate the festive season, found 31 percent admit to wasting more food than usual at this time of year - as 61 percent overbuy to make sure they don’t run out.

And 16 percent find it difficult to judge just how much they need to see them through.

But in a bid to curb the amount of food that gets thrown away, 35 percent are going to force down foods they don’t particularly like.

While 38 percent will be giving leftovers for their guests to take away with them, 41 percent will try to get creative in the kitchen to use up their leftovers.


Sandwiches are the most popular leftover dish and 31 percent chuck their leftovers into a hearty soup.

The research was commissioned by Waitrose, as part of its campaign to help halve UK household food waste by 2030.

To help customers to save money and take care in their meal planning, chefs from the supermarket have come up with their tips to make the most of festive leftovers.

Zoe Simons, senior brand development chef at Waitrose, said: “Getting ready for the big day can be a stressful and exciting time, especially now we’re able to host family and friends once again after the pandemic.

“But both of these factors can cause people to buy much more food at Christmas than they actually need and inevitably, a proportion of this, unfortunately, finds its way into the trash.

“It’s encouraging to learn that so many are taking care to reduce what they waste, particularly at Christmas and we want to help where we can.

“That’s why we’ve come up with some simple and exciting ways to give people the impetus to work up something special with what may typically have been thrown away.”


The research found potatoes, carrots and pigs in blankets are the most popular foods households have on Christmas Day, followed by sprouts and turkey.

With such an array of different foods left behind, 49 percent would be more likely to cook with their leftovers if they had more inspiration in the kitchen.

When quizzed more generally about food waste, 27 percent recognized their household had a problem with it, but 48 percent said their awareness of the issue has increased over the last five years.

The study, carried out via OnePoll, found 54 percent believe food waste is a major issue we need to tackle together as a society.

Zoe Simons added: “As tends to be the case with environmental issues, there are often small changes we can make at home which can make a difference.

“Nobody buys food with the intention of throwing it in the bin but with UK homes discarding 4.5 million of it every year, there are little steps you can take to reduce this waste.

“From planning your meals carefully over the Christmas period to ensure you’re buying the right amount for the number of people you’re hosting, to how you store your food.

“We’ve also made it easier for our customers by selling oddly shaped vegetables as well as forgotten cuts of meat - and we’re continuing to work closely with FareShare to donate surplus food to vulnerable families.”


  • Take time to plan, consider how many people you’re cooking for, how many meals you’ll prepare, and factor in some will be perfect for the leftovers from your Christmas meal.
  • Store items in the freezer throughout December that you can use on Christmas – such as bread for bread sauce or veg peelings to make stock and gravy.
  • Buying your fruit and vegetables lose not only helps in reducing packaging waste you can buy the exact quantities that you need.
  • If struggling to work out quantities per person, estimate as follows:
  • Green vegetables: large handful per person
  • Roots (carrots/parsnips): two per person
  • Potatoes: one large potato per person
  • Leftovers from the main meal can be blitzed gently in a food processor (think roasted carrots, parsnips and potatoes, along with some of the turkey) then combined with an egg formed into croquette shapes and coated with breadcrumbs. Then air fry until crispy for tasty nuggets, perfect for dipping into the leftover gravy.

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