Friday, 2 November 2007

Report suggests third of food wasted

It has recently been suggested that this country wastes a third of its food. Now these bald statements in the media seem designed to make me angry. Maybe some of the heavyweight papers go into some background detail on this but typically the media come out with these stories with little or no indication as to how they were arrived at.

Let me as a blogger pose some questions then. When looking at food waste are we just considering what is thrown out by householders? Did they include the stuff in food shops discarded because it's over the 'best before date'? And what about the food left over in restaurants? It's difficult for outside caterers too to get the quantities right. And with swill not going to feed pigs these days that's another reason for food going to landfill. It all adds up.

Putting aside these things for a minute there is no doubt that the British are wasteful with regard to food and that is something that shames us. I absolutely hate to see good food thrown away. It's true that I'm cooking just for myself as a rule and am not having to cope with changing fads of young children for instance. But I'd like to see more parents getting their offspring eating sensible food from a very early age and not always going for the easy option. Another thing that irks me is to see eateries dishing out excessively large helpings; I recall an example of this in Plymouth. Some years ago when I worked in an office in that city a group of us went out for a Christmas lunch. I had garlic mushrooms as a starter (I love these). What I was served was sufficient for a main course and I remember that I could barely get through the next course. I shouldn't be at all surprised if a third of the food was wasted that day.

It amazes me that with all the cookery programmes on TV these days together with a plethora of books on the subject there seems to be so little attention given over to recipes using left overs. Not just 'bubble and squeak' which is delicious in my opinion. I can give an example of economical use of food - in the summer I eat a lot of salads and as such I steam enough potatoes for a couple of days say. Then for the next day it only takes a minute to slice and fry the ones I've not used. I get the sense that many people discard anything not eaten on the day and that's absolutely crazy!

Going back to the original headline about a third of food being wasted, well that might not be completely accurate when applied just to folk eating in the home. But even if it was 20% I would consider that unacceptable. Truly Britain has become a throwaway society.

No comments: