Essex councillors cook up a storm in anti-food waste demonstration

Cllrs Graham Butland (left) and Kevin Bentley take part in a cook-off

Cllrs Graham Butland (left) and Kevin Bentley take part in a cook-off - Credit: Archant

Councillors swapped County Hall for the kitchen as they went head-to-head in a cook-off to demonstrate using leftover food.

Kevin Bentley, deputy leader of Essex County Council and cabinet member for waste and recycling, turned up the heat in the competition with fellow councillor Graham Butland – who is also the leader of Braintree District Council.

They cooked up a storm at the Essex Food and Drink Festival, creating a Love Food Hate Waste pizza and tuna fish cakes to a recipe using ingredients often found languishing in the fridge.

A taste test by a father and son duo in the audience judged them both winners in a well-fought tie.

Mr Bentley, also a Colchester borough councillor, said: “Today has shown that by creating meals from leftover ingredients we can help reduce the amount we throw away, saving us all money.

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“Being shrewd about food is all about minimising the amount of food waste we recycle or dispose of. Recycling is great but it is time for us to get creative with our leftovers and waste much less.”

Launched in May the Shrewd About Food campaign aims to raise awareness of food waste issues and to encourage residents to reduce, re-use and recycle.

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Each month the average family throws away about £60 of good food.

In addition the largest proportion of the county’s waste not currently recycled – about half of the overall total – is food waste.

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