What a waste
AT last week’s select committee into food waste, chef Hugh Fearnleywhittingstall and campaigner Tristram Stuart shone a spotlight on the culture of food waste in Britain. The pair highlighted ‘bogus’ use-by dates that encouraged people to throw out perfectly edible food plus the marketing deals, such as buy one, get one free, that encourage shoppers to purchase more food than they could possibly use.
However, their starkest criticism was that the shopper alone was being blamed for almost all the waste, estimated at up to 50% of everything we buy, when the supermarket supply chain was almost completely overlooked. Supermarkets impose stringent cosmetic standards on fresh fruit and vegetables, which means that a slightly bent carrot, for instance, will be rejected and left to rot. Now, incredibly and very sadly, farmers grow crops that go straight to anaerobic digesters as it’s a better return for them than supplying food for humans and having so much of it rejected.
At a time when the nation’s food security is of grave concern, we have created a culture of waste on an industrial scale. MH