The horse-meat contamination scandal in the United Kingdom has helped improve British eating habits, a new survey reveals.
Data gathered in the survey, conducted on behalf of cookware maker Tefal for its Fresh Week, which challenges people to give up all processed meals for a week, indicated that Britons threw out nearly 18 million processed meals.
That amounted to more than 13.5 thousand tonnes of processed food.
The survey showed that the food scandal, in which a range of processed beef products were found to be contaminated by horse meat, has had a positive effect on the nation’s eating habits.
Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of Britons said that they have cut down on the amount of processed food they ate, with the typical family set to spend £1762 on fresh food in the coming year.
The survey found that people currently spent £66.36 a week on groceries, of which £11.34 is on processed food and £33.89 on fresh food. This is slight increase on the figures prior to the recent horse-meat scandal, which were £65.19 per week, with £12.82 on processed food and £32.14 on fresh food.
The fresh-food renaissance is being driven by health concerns, with nearly a third (30%) saying that they were put off processed meals by the recent horse-meat scandal and just under 2.8 million people saying that they have thrown out processed meals as a result.
It also appears that traditional English fruit and vegetables are making a comeback at the dinner table, with British apples, garden peas, cauliflower and cabbage all growing in popularity.
ICM research carried out the research on behalf of Tefel, questioning 2007 British adults about their eating and purchasing habits following the food scandal.
Interviews took place between April 5-7.
Results were weighted to be representative of the UK population. On that basis, the figures indicated 17,865,094 processed meals were thrown out, based on an over-18 adult population of 47,358,000.
The figures indicated a total of 2,794,122 had thrown out meals for one since the horsemeat scandal, such as lasagne, curries and meat pies.
Tefal is calling on the British public to take part in Fresh Week by pledging at .