What a Waste

Susan Smillie at the Word of Mouth Blog has drawn my attention to to information released by the government agency Wrap. She observes, ‘Wrap, the government's waste reduction agency, has found one third – 6.7m tonnes – of all food bought in Britain is thrown away, “of which half is still edible.” And it gets still worse: “Decomposing food releases methane, the most potent of the greenhouse gases blamed for climate change”.’

The WRAP report says, ‘Our recent research suggests that households throw away between £250 and £400 of potentially edible food each year.’

Presumably, much of this is caused by the change in methods of food purchase from regular (daily?) buying of food to weekly or monthly shopping trips. Some of this must be due to the time pressures involved in relationships where both partners have to work and the increased hours of work done by many due to the rising costs involved with home ownership.

Now, not for one minute am I suggesting that the partners in a relationship shouldn't both have the same work opportunities but, it is a fact that there will be less time available for things like daily buying, meal planning etc where both are working.

So what to do about it? It is obviously something that needs addressing. It seems terrible that, when many people in the world are starving, we are throwing good food away.

Some old-fashioned housekeeping could help. I am sure that when we shop with a list, rather than in 'browse and buy' mode, our shopping bills are lower – and therefore we buy less food. The same applies if we actually plan a menu for the week's meals. This only needs to be an 'outline' – leaving things like meat/veg choices until the shopping trip to allow for the purchase of what is best on the day.

The largest amount of food wastage is fruit and veg followed by bread and cakes. Particularly disturbing is that 16% of the waste is raw meat and fish – It just doesn't seem right to just throw away something that an animal has given up its life to give you.

The 'pay-off' if we do reduce these amounts? Well more money to start with and also a reduction in the 18.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide pollution last year that was produced by transporting food.

The irony of sitting here writing this when in two days time millions of pumpkins will be 'sacrificed' for kids to be able to go and legally 'mug' their neighbours has not passed me by.

Oops, what was my daughter carving yesterday for Halloween?


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