The Prince of Wales has suggested families can cut greenhouse emissions – and save money – by reducing the amount of food they waste.
Writing an editorial for the Daily Mirror newspaper, Charles highlighted a research project where families held a “use-up day” and cut the produce they dumped every week by a third.
Charles is known to follow the practice of using up food and has also adopted a range of initiatives to save other resources including converting his Aston Martin sportscar to run on surplus wine.
He also wrote about his long-term hope that food products on supermarket shelves will feature a “kite mark” that indicates how sustainably they have been produced.
His comments came as the crisis engulfing his charitable body the Prince’s Foundation deepened, with its chairman Douglas Connell resigning and expressing concern over potential “rogue activity” after reports the organisation accepted a six-figure sum from a Russian donor.
The money was rejected by the ethics committee of the foundation, which has its headquarters in Scotland, following reported concerns about its provenance and earlier this week the Scottish Charity Regulator launched an investigation into the matter.
The probe comes shortly after an alleged cash-for-honours scandal which saw the foundation’s chief executive Michael Fawcett temporarily step down. An independent investigation has been launched into the claims by the charitable body’s trustees.
In the editorial, Charles announced his foundation is working with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and his friend Jimmy Doherty on “Food For The Future”, a new education pilot programme teaching children about the cycle of food, from fields to the cooking pot.
Charles wrote about the initiative: “If we can encourage and enable them to see that the food they eat is part of a joined-up system which can either help or hinder the health of the planet, they will be much more able to help turn the situation around to avoid the climate catastrophe towards which we are all hurtling.
“For one thing, they will discover that almost overnight they could help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by up to ten per cent without it costing anything. All they need do is make informed choices to help cut the colossal amount of food we waste.
“The annual figure currently stands at 1.3 billion tonnes and more than half of it is thrown away at home, an issue one of the companies backing Food For The Future decided to tackle.”
The prince described a Canadian project where a thousand families earmarked one day a week as a “use-up day” for food destined for the bin.
He wrote: “To their surprise, the families reduced the amount of food they threw away each week by a staggering – but hugely encouraging – figure: one-third.
“That suggests that if every family in Canada did the same, around 250,000 tonnes of food a year could be saved. So imagine the impact in the UK, which is home to nearly thirty million more people than Canada.
“Farmers wouldn’t be under the same pressure to produce quite as much food from our struggling soils, the savings in greenhouse gas emissions would be substantial but, best of all, there is the likelihood of big reductions in people’s weekly shopping bills.”