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Young chefs help produce cookbook hoping to combat climate change

Love Your Leftovers cookbook encourages Watford to tackle the environmental issues of food waste.

Twelve young chefs from West Herts College, with the help of Veolia, Watford Council’s recycling and waste partner, have created a plant-based cookbook 'Love your Leftovers' which aims to address the growing global problem of food waste.

Food waste has a detrimental effect on the environment due to the resources it takes to produce and transport it. If food waste were a country, it would have the third biggest carbon footprint after the US and China. To help combat this, Veolia teamed up with a group of our trainee chefs to inspire Watford residents to make the most of their leftovers and avoid throwing away food.

The cookbook contains nutritious, plant-based recipes for any occasion alongside helpful food waste tips to encourage sustainable living. The book will be available to buy online as a hard copy, with money raised from the book benefitting four local charities; supported by our Food Academy students Mencap Watford, Dementia Watford, Reveley Lodge, Bushey and the Polio Foundation.

Andy Wakeford, Head of School for Food Academy & Hospitality said: “I would like to thank Veolia for facilitating this opportunity for West Herts College students to produce this book which they enjoyed completing. They have been engaged and empowered to try to make a difference locally by raising the awareness of the global problem of food waste. Hopefully the long term benefit will be to raise awareness of the need to reduce local food waste to protect the environment but also help to ease some of the burden on the family purse.”

The cookbook also aligns with the launch of environmental organisation, WRAP’s inaugural Food Waste Action Week. The week of action hopes to raise awareness of the environmental consequences of wasting food and will run from Monday 1 to Sunday 7 March 2021.

Veolia’s Recycling Fund for Communities sponsored the publication of Love Your Leftovers. The Fund supports grassroots projects that protect the environment and encourage people to do the right thing with their waste.

Darren Harding, Senior Contract Manager at Veolia said: “Food waste is an issue we all need to take action against. It is estimated that 6.5 million tonnes of food is wasted every year by UK households; 4.5 million tonnes of which is edible. Making the most of these leftovers could have a very real impact on climate change, which currently contributes 8-10% of global greenhouse gases.

“We’re proud to be working with the young people of Watford to inspire them to take ownership of their environmental impact and make a difference at home, at work and at college. We will continue to support these young chefs in their studies and encourage all Watford residents to make sustainable choices.”

Click here to view an exclusive preview the cookbook.

To purchase a copy of Love Your Leftovers cookbook, please email our Head of Food Academy on or call 01923 812345.

Alternatively, please keep an eye on out here for updates on charity events, which will be taking place to sell hard copies of the book.