A FAMOUS curling family is backing a campaign urging people to embrace their freezers and help cut food waste.
Olympic bronze medallist Eve Muirhead and her brothers Glen and Thomas, who are well used to chilly conditions, are working with Zero Waste Scotland on the initiative.
Scots throw away good food worth £1.1 billion every year despite the fact that much of it could have been frozen and eaten at a later date, Zero Waste Scotland said.
The organisation is urging people to think of their freezer before throwing away food, 1.35 million tonnes of which is discarded in Scotland every year.
The Muirhead siblings, who are currently preparing for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in February 2018, are backing the campaign.
The trio, all members of Team GB’s Winter Olympic curling team, said: “With all three of us training so frequently there wasn’t always time to cook from fresh every day.
“We remember that mum or dad would often batch cook nutritious meals and then they were just ready to heat through before we rushed out the door.
“We had no idea the scale of food waste in Scotland and it will make us think twice about using our freezers more now we all live away from home.”
The campaign is being launched to mark European Week for Waste Reduction 2017.
Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “It may be getting colder outside, but at home people could be making much better use of their freezer to get the best from their food and minimise waste.
“We know from our work in communities throughout Scotland that people are often unsure about what can and cannot be frozen.
“For example, people don’t always realise it’s safe to freeze almost any food before the use by date on the packaging and then defrost in the fridge.
“We need to dispel these myths and demonstrate to everyone that most food can be frozen.”
Zero Waste Scotland is releasing its top “Freezer Rules”, which include that it is safe to freeze food up until the use by date as freezing acts as a “‘pause button” on food, and that you can freeze just about anything.
The organisation also advises people to freeze ahead to save time on busy days, but stressed that once defrosted, the “pause button” is off, so food should only be defrosted as you need it.
If you defrost raw meat or fish and then cook it thoroughly you can freeze it again, but never re-heat foods more than once, the freezer rules advise.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “In Scotland, we’re working towards a 33% reduction in food waste by 2025.
“That’s one of the most ambitious target in Europe, and everyone in Scotland has an important part to play in helping the country achieve that goal.
“It’s a win-win situation – simple things like using your freezer to its full potential will save money, and help achieve our national target.”