BLAISE TAPP: I make no apologies for being an unashamed,  out-of-date food-sniffer

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The Royal Mint of the Representation of the People Act 50p coin, one of the new UK coin designs for 2018. Picture: Royal Mint/PA Wire

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Some of us sniff, some prod, while others will take a leap of faith and disregard all of the obvious warning signs and will merrily tuck into out-of-date food. 

But these larder mavericks are increasingly becoming a rare breed it seems as we are regularly told we are a nation of wasters.

The statistics show that, each year, the average family bungs away food worth £700 and could have eaten an estimated £470 of it.

One of the most ‘wasted’ foods are potatoes, with nearly half of the edible fresh spuds bought each day ending up in the pedal bin along with tea bags and empty Flora pots.

That's 5.8 million King Edwards sent to landfill before they get the chance to contribute to a shepherd’s pie. 

As a long-standing sniffer and one who has disregarded best-before and sell-by dates all his adult life, I completely agree with all efforts to reduce food waste.

I channel my parents from 30 years ago and earnestly urge my kids to think of all the starving children in the world whenever they turn their noses up at anything served with green stuff.

I will hang onto food until it is on its last legs; black bananas, shrivelled satsumas and even bouncy cheddar will all be consumed by yours truly.

This is why I applauded the decision by the Co-Op to sell a selection of food, including rice, couscous, biscuits and pasta, for 10p once its sell-by date has expired.  I don’t get the snobbery around out-of-date foods, especially when the cost of filling up a trolley has shot up in recent months.

The first place I head for when entering a supermarket is the reduced items shelves.

What is clear is that food producers, retailers and industry regulators need to do more to encourage consumers to hang onto their food for longer.

If nothing else, it would put an end to folk sniffing the contents of their fridge.