One in five Falkirk residents may not do any festive food shopping until December 24, while one in three won’t plan for Christmas Day fare at all.
These are among the perhaps surprising findings from a survey carried out by Zero Waste Scotland, which also reveals that roast potatoes are among the festive foods most commonly left over by Falkirk households.
The YouGov survey, commissioned by Zero Waste Scotland, found that around 67 million meals will go to waste in Scotland this December and 84 per cent of households will have leftover food from Christmas Day.
Festive favourites including turkey (56 per cent), roast potatoes (34 per cent) and Brussels Sprouts (30per cent) are most likely to go uneaten.
Around one one in five survey respondees admitted to feeling worried or stressed when shopping for food for Christmas Day. Zero Waste Scotland has partnered with Dr Esther Papies from Glasgow University’s School of Psychology to develop a series of simple tips to ease anxiety around feeding family and friends.
Dr Papies said: “Christmas food shopping can seem really difficult.
Most of our eating during the rest of the year is influenced by our habits, but around Christmas everything changes and our usual habits don’t work.
“The food we eat and the number of people we cook for are usually very different over Christmas compared to the rest of the year. As a result, we often end up buying and preparing too much food.
“Remember, your Christmas meal doesn’t need to be too big or perfect – focus on what Christmas feels like, not what it looks like. Make enjoying time with friends and family a priority, with a nice home-cooked meal part of the experience.
“Plan, plan, plan. Taking time to think about how many people you will be cooking for and how much they will likely eat - for example, a young child won’t need the same amount of food as an adult - and write a list.
“Having a list will help layout what you need and will help you to remember any staple items we typically forget.
“Remember, your Christmas meal doesn’t need to be too big or perfect – focus on what Christmas feels like, not what it looks like.
“Make enjoying time with friends and family a priority, with a nice home-cooked meal being only one part of the overall experience.
Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “As a nation, we will waste thousands of tonnes of food this festive season, a lot of which is avoidable. To put this into context, over £11.5 million pounds of meat and poultry alone will be thrown away throughout December.
“Everyone really wants to enjoy Christmas Day, however no one likes throwing away money or good food.
“Taking simple steps, like resisting the urge to overbuy and using a shopping list to avoid doubling up on ingredients, are easy ways we can all reduce food waste and do our bit to tackle climate change.”
The Love Food Hate Waste Scotland website for more tips on how to reduce your food waste this Christmas: https://scotland.lovefoodhatewaste.com/