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Make food matter

Do you know how much food gets wasted? Make something tasty with food that would otherwise get thrown away.

You will need

  • Pens or pencils
  • Ingredients and equipment (see recipe card)
Food waste diary
PDF – 350.7KB
Recipe card (Mini pizzas)
PDF – 184.1KB
Recipe card (Mixed fruit pancakes)
PDF – 183.9KB

Before you begin

  • You’ll need to do this activity across two meetings, and people will need to track their food waste at home too. If you’ve got a little more time, try the Track your food footprint activity before getting stuck into this.
  • You’ll need enough copies of the ‘Food waste diary’ for everyone to take one away with them.

Keep a food waste diary

  1. The person leading the activity should give everyone a ‘Food waste diary’. They should make sure everyone understands what they need to put in each of the boxes.
  1. Everyone should take their ‘Food waste diary’ home and put it somewhere it’s easy to see (for example, on the kitchen wall). They should complete it for a week.
  1. Everyone should add up the total amount of food thrown away.

Keep a food saver diary

  1. Everyone should share what they found out from their food diaries. Which foods were binned the most? Why?
  2. Everyone should share examples of how simple actions could stop food from being thrown away.
  3. The person leading the activity should give everyone a new ‘Food waste diary’. They should make sure everyone understands what they need to put in each of the boxes.
  1. Everyone should share what they’re up to with the people they live with and encourage them to try their best too.
  2. Everyone should complete their new food diaries. Again, they can get creative with pictures and collages.
  3. Once their diaries are complete, everyone should add up how much food they’ve rescued and how they saved it. They should think of a creative way to share the successes of their food waste mission with everyone else.

Make meals from leftovers

  1. Everyone should get into groups of between four and six people. It’s best if people with similar dietary requirements stick together – it makes it easier and reduces the risk of cross-contamination.
  2. Everyone should get ready to cook. They should tie their hair up, take off rings, roll up long sleeves, wash their hands, and cover cuts with a blue (or brightly coloured) plaster.
  1. The person leading the activity should give each group a copy of one of the recipes.
  1. Each group should collect the equipment and ingredients they need, weigh and measure their ingredients, and follow the recipe card.
  1. Once their leftover dishes are ready, everyone should clean and lay a table and serve their food.
  2. After they’ve enjoyed their pizzas, everyone should tidy up and clean.


This activity was all about being a citizen and understanding responsibilities. Did people waste more or less food than they expected? In the UK, households waste six and a half million tonnes of food each year. Four and a half million of these tonnes are edible – enough to fill 38 wheelie bins or the Royal Albert Hall in London 90 times. It’s not just a problem in the UK; if global food waste were a country, it’d be third for greenhouse gas emissions (after China and the US).

People aren’t just throwing away things like egg shells or bones from meat, we’re throwing away food like bread crusts, leftover meals, or potato peelings that could be transformed into something tasty. Why is it important that people reduce food waste? It can save them money and also slow down global warming.

This activity was also about developing skills and practising in the kitchen. Had people tried pizza before? How was today’s pizza different? What sorts of skills did everyone use to make this recipe? People might think about grating and chopping, for example. What other recipes use these skills?


All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.


Check for allergies before you begin and read the guidance on food safety. Make sure you have suitable areas for storing and preparing food and avoid cross contamination of different foods.