Learn to cook and help save the planet!

Posted on: 13 January 2020

Devon County Council is running a series of free six-week cookery courses to teach residents to cook a range of basic meals while covering the top tips that help reduce food waste at home.

Eight ‘DIY Dinner’ courses will take place in towns across the county during January and February in another example of the council’s commitment to help communities reduce food waste and carbon emissions in support of the Devon Climate Declaration.

Each course will be led by an experienced community food worker and will include recipes from Recycle Devon’s newly launched cook book ‘Have Your Food and Eat It’. Every week, course participants will take home a meal for four that they have cooked.

In addition, the sessions will give guidance on how to reduce food waste, for instance, through meal planning, proper storage and understanding the difference between Best Before and Use By dates.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for

Councillor Andrea Davis

Councillor Andrea Davis

Infrastructure and Waste said: “We’re excited to be able to offer these pioneering courses to householders in each of Devon’s local authority areas.
“Research shows that 30% of Devon’s dustbins is made up of food waste, despite most areas having a food waste recycling collection.
“Of course, it’s better for the environment and your pocket that we eat the that food we buy so that it doesn’t end up as waste. According to the national food waste prevention campaign Love Food Hate Waste the average family of four are throwing away up to £70 a month as food waste, most of which is avoidable.”

Anna Thomson from Nourishing Families, said: “I’m really looking forward to Anna Thomson teaching one of the courses and sharing some simple but very adaptable recipes. Food waste is a major contributor to climate change, so throughout the course we’ll be exploring delicious and easy ways to make the most of the food that we buy.”

The courses follow a successful funding bid by Devon County Council to Interreg Europe. which has enabled all of the course costs to be covered, including the ingredients.

Each course runs for six weeks with a break during half-term week (w/c February 17) starting:
Monday January 27: Exeter
Wednesday January 29: Cranbrook,
Wednesday January 29: Bideford
Wednesday January 29: Teignmouth
Wednesday January 29: Kingsbridge
Wednesday January 29: Tiverton
Thursday January 30: Barnstaple
Wednesday February 12: Okehampton

Courses run from 4pm-6pm apart from Bideford which will be 4.30pm-6.30pm.

Bookings are now open for all courses with limited places on each course so book today to avoid disappointment by contacting Emma on 01392 383159 or via emma.croft@devon.gov.uk

24 comments on “Learn to cook and help save the planet!

  1. Joan Atkins says:

    What’s the take up so far for Teignmouth. I’ve not seen this advertised anywhere – where has it been publicised? Where is the course to be held? Can the Town Council help?

    • david.beasley says:

      Hi Joan, we have advertised through local partners, online via social media and via local postering and our press release. We are taking bookings via email as we have limited capacity – full course details are providing on booking. We do have space still in Teignmouth. Many thanks.

    • Michellesewell says:

      Are there any plans for any of these classes in Ivybridge please I am a stroke victim and food is a real problem for me at the moment it’s all too much a cookery class like this in Ivybridge for wheelchair users would be amazing

    • david.beasley says:

      Thanks for your interest. Unfortunately these specific courses have been organised following EU funding and unless we are lucky enough to receive further funding it is unlikely.

  2. Ms J D Slade says:

    Excellent idea. Will the recipes, “Hints and Tips” etc be made available online after the course for people unable to access/attend in person?

  3. Anne says:

    Are you planning a course in Totnes?

    • david.beasley says:

      Hi Anne, We had funding to run one course in each district of Devon and as Totnes already has cooking courses run by Food in Community and Nourishing Families we decided to run our South Hams course in Kingsbridge to be able to offer something new.

  4. James Slater says:

    Great idea. Places of dense populations would benefit most. Plymouth for instance.

    • david.beasley says:

      Hi James, Thanks for your comment. The funding was for 8 courses in the Devon County Council administered area. There are lots of great cookery courses happening in Plymouth already – run by Food is Fun, Nourishing Families and The Real Junk Food Project amongst others.

  5. Julia Barnes says:

    Brilliant idea. An attempt to help the environment and hopefully teach people to eat better food. Love to have put my name down but it starts too early for most workers. If you do any more can I request you do later starts please. Well done.

    • Tasha Wheeler-James says:

      There are several fantastic private cookery schools in Devon offering similar courses at weekends. There’s one this Saturday in Crockernwell.

  6. Tasha Wheeler-James says:

    I think this is a wonderful idea, but how much can someone learn in 2 hours? We run full day courses in Crockernwell, (obviously not for free) and it is a jam packed day!

    • david.beasley says:

      Hi Tasha, Thanks for your message. Hopefully they can learn quite a lot. These courses are intended for those with only rudimentary skills and they are over six weeks.

  7. Yulia Radosa says:

    Great idea and hoe it will motivate people to cook more with less waste

  8. Kathy Mitchell says:

    What a great idea. Not only will it help reduce food waste but it will hopefully help people to cook in a more healthy way.

  9. Kathy says:

    What a great idea; not only will it help reduce food waste but will hopefully help people to cook more healthy meals. Well done.

  10. Di says:

    What a fantastic idea. I would be really interested in attending but wonder what provisions have been made for those with special dietary requirements such as Coeliac (strickly gluten free).

    Many thanks

    • david.beasley says:

      Thanks for your message Di. Yes the course can cater for those with gluten diets as well as those with other requirements including allergies.

    • Eddie says:

      What a positive, fun & healthy way of getting the points across when highlighting the global environmental issues. Perhaps Skyping could be a great step, save travelling & additional expenses. Good luck.

    • david.beasley says:

      Interesting idea Eddie! We’re confident that offering people a chance to come together as a group to learn and cook offers something that couldn’t be replicated by Skype but we certainly see the potential for other strands of our work.

  11. Trevor Heynes says:

    Dear Sirs

    Could we have a course in Sidmouth please?

    Thank you

    • david.beasley says:

      Hi Trevor, thanks for your message. Unfortunately because these courses are externally funded by the EU unless we are able to secure a further tranche of funding it is unlikely we would be able to run another programme of courses.

  12. Helen Humphrey says:

    This is such a wonderful idea. Well done to you.

Posted in: Environment