Preventing a Fat-Berg this Christmas

preventing a fat-berg this Christmas picture of a Christmas dining table

It’s coming up to the day we have all been preparing for isn’t it. A day of  celebration and of course, presents. A day for families to come together. To eat, drink and be merry. And of course to be able to enjoy the food you need to cook it first don’t you.

What meal do you all have on Christmas day? Ours starts of with my mum’s homemade soup and freshly baked rolls. The shop bought kind not made at home from scratch, we’re not that good! Followed by a huge roast dinner with 3 meats, Turkey of course and either Beef, Pork, Gammon or Lamb. We mix it up each year as we have a non poultry eater amongst us. Followed by some sort of chocolate dessert and various cakes. We take gluttony to a whole new level.

It’s safe to say it takes a lot of preparation along with tears, sweat and usually swearing. We have long learnt our lesson against wearing heels in the kitchen following many a bruised butt cheek due to slips, trips and falls before the wine is opened!

The question is how do you clean up afterwards? What do you do with the fats, oils and/or leftover gravy and the like? Bin or sink? Below is a bit of information on what happens if your leftovers find their way down your drain!

preventing a fat-berg this Christmas logo from united utilities

 

What’s the issue?

  • The average North West household pours 14Ibs of fat, oils and grease down the drain in a year. Across the region, this equates to 2.9 million stone – the weight of over 243,000 UK adults (more than the population of Oldham!).
  • Where does all this fat come from? The answer could be a fondness for frying. According to a study into the region’s “fat habits”, which examined how we eat, cook and dispose of the calorific culprit, one in five North West residents fry food at least three days a week.
  • The study was conducted by water company United Utilities to discover more about the fat which all too often ends up down our drains.
  • United Utilities attends over 53,000 call-outs to pipe blockages every year at a cost of £20 million.
  • The water company wants to help people learn how they can keep their own drains healthy, as many people don’t know that water companies aren’t responsible for fixing blockages on domestic properties. Insurance companies often won’t pay out if the problem was caused by fats, oils and grease.
  • The aim of the study was to understand more about how people use and dispose of fats to better tackle the issue. It found that many people (47%) dispose of fat and food waste by pouring it down the sink or loo, rather than putting it in the bin, even though over 60% know that doing so will cause blockages and damage to pipes.
  • The study also found that people are keen for change. Over 80% of people want to ditch their bad cooking habits and lose weight by eating more healthily.

Pretty interesting reading right! How exactly do you dispose of any fats you use after you have finished cooking with them? Also do you know how to make the perfect roasties? Have you been honing your skills ready for the big day? If you have then make sure to share them with United Utilities using the hashtag #binfat2winthat to be in with the chance of winning £100 of shopping vouchers in January!

*Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post with United Utilities*

 

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  1. I usually pour the fat in empty jars and then bin them. When I was a lot younger I used to pour them down the sink completely not realising the damage it causes

  2. I try and save all my empty jars and I pour excess fat into them. It’s rare that I need more than one jar per fortnight when it goes in the bin. I also wipe the pan with a paper kitchen towel to remove most of the rest.