Over Christmas, I had an e-mail which made me feel incredibly foolish – one of my bad habits is disposing of fat and grease down the plug hole. No mess and easier, right? I even add hot water to make sure it doesn’t stick and cause problems.. But that isn’t good enough. I myself have been contributing to something dark and dismal lurking beneath the streets of the UK..
Mary-Ellen Mctague shared her fat-saving ideas on the United Utilities website due to United Utilities taking the ‘fat-berg’ crisis very seriously. ‘Fat-bergs’ are huge amounts of fat and oil used in the cooking process which are then disposed of down the kitchen sink or toilet instead of in the bin. The average household (ours included prior to learning about all this, as I confessed) disposes of 14lb of fat and grease down the drains each year. To visualise that, imagine 14 blocks of butter in front of you. 14 blocks.
These fat-bergs have huge implications both environmentally and financially, costing the North West of England 20 million pounds annually – United Utilities attend over 53,000 calls relating to blockages in waste pipes each year! Not only are we in the North West keen on oily, friend foods.. We tend not to take care in disposing of the oil itself. A habit I’m going to change, not only because of my health but because I definitely want to be more responsible with my cooking habits.
Something you can do to help the cost of this, is disposing of your fat responsibly. When cooking, make sure you scrape your grease and fat into a heat resistant container before putting into the bin – smaller amounts can be wiped away with kitchen roll, then placed into the bin). You can use a sink strainer to catch food waste such as rice and small chunks of vegetables, instead of letting them escape down the plug hole to contribute to blockages – once caught in the strainer they’re pretty easy to dispose of into the bin. United Utilities have put together a guide here, with more tips on being responsible with your food waste.
In order to spread this message, until the 22nd of January United Utilities are running a competition.
‘My Roastie Photie’ – the competition!
Share a photo of your perfect roast potato with the hashtag #binfat2winthat! Five people get the chance to win £100 of supermarket vouchers. I don’t know about you but I could happily do with £100 towards my next monthly shop.
I wrote this entry in collaboration with United Utilities. You can download the festive cookbook created by United Utilities here.