Potatoes are one of the most purchased products in the UK, with 1.6million tonnes bought each year, mostly around autumn and winter. Sadly, they are also one of the most wasted, with around 46% of them going in the bin – mostly because they have simply not been used in time.
Try our simple tips to save our spuds from being wasted. Whether you boil them, mash them, bake them, fry them or have them in a salad or stew: there are so many ways to make the most of the spuds you’ve bought.
Keep your potatoes fresher for longer by storing them in a cool, dark, airy place – in the packaging you bought them in, or a cloth bag if you prefer.
Here’s the science bit… Look closely at a potato – it has ‘eyes’! These are the little spots and are nodes of the stem. If you leave them too long, they’ll start to grow shoots, and you’ll speed up this process if they’re kept warm and exposed to sunlight. That’s why they should be stored in a cool, dark and airy place!
9 things you didn’t know about potatoes
1.Every day in the UK, we bin around 5.8 million potatoes.
2.Yet potatoes are in high demand! Almost 1.7 million tonnes of them are bought each year.
3.Around 730,000 tonnes of good potatoes are binned from our homes each year (including their skins).
4.The amount that’s binned works out to be almost half (46%) of all the potatoes we buy.
5.Half of us throw potatoes in the bin because we didn’t get round to using them in time.
6.Potatoes are great comfort food – as a nation, we especially like to buy them between September and January when things start to get chilly!
7.Potatoes aren’t just root vegetables, they’re actually called tubers.
8.Potatoes are the second most wasted food in the UK, just behind bread.
9.Each year in the UK, potato wastage costs us as a nation around £230 million!
Ways to save your spuds
•If your potatoes get green patches, don’t worry – cut those bits off and the rest is still fine to eat.
•If your potatoes have sprouts, they’re also ok – just chop them off.
•If your potato is wrinkly, it means it has lost most of its nutrients, but it’s still safe to eat.
•If you’ve got too many spuds, par boil and freeze them – you can take them out at a later date and roast them!
How to use up leftover potatoes
•Mix leftover boiled potatoes with mayonnaise and chopped onions to make a potato salad.
•Store cooked mash in a Tupperware container – you can make them into little patties the next morning and fry to make ‘mash browns’!
•Leftover mash or cooked potatoes can be stirred into soups to thicken then up.
•If you were given a bigger portion than what you bargained for from the chippy, put them in the freezer and re-heat them at a later date for extra crispy chips (honestly, just try it!)
There are so many ways to enjoy the humble spud. Give one of these tasty recipes a try (opens to a new website).