Britain: Producing food to waste it

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Are you an indulgent consumer and make impulse purchases of food that you are unlikely to eat? If so, then you are shamelessly wasting food that a hungry person could have eaten.

According to a recent government watchdog, Britain’s food waste mountain is 6.7million tonnes a year. Around half the total is made up of fruit, vegetables, meat, bread and dairy produce that could have been eaten.

The annual value of food thrown away is put at £460 per head, which equates to a staggering £23billion a year. For a typical family of four, this means food worth around £35 is going into the bin every week.

Why do consumers irrationally overstock?

Supermarkets in their cut-price promotions encourage customers to buy in bulk.
Consumers tend to be so neurotic about bugs that they chuck things out immediately. They go over the best-before date, which is often unnecessary.
Consumers prefer good looking stuff as a result huge amounts of fruit and vegetables are junked because they do not meet the ‘beauty pageant’ standards demanded by supermarkets.

Friends of the Earth campaigner Anna Watson said:

It is shocking to see how much food we throw away. This food mainly ends up in landfill sites where it releases methane, a powerful climate change gas.

What can be done?

Food should be packaged in smaller portions.
Supermarkets should help shoppers choose sensible portion sizes.
Food should be sealed better to preserve it for longer.
Stores should see which perishable goods are close to their sell-by date and should run two for one offers to make sure they are sold.
Packaging costs for smaller portions should be cut by letting the consumers carry away what they need.
Today to get food one need not toil too much. Modern times give man the indulgence of extravagance. Yet every time you waste you destroy somebody else’s hard work, energy used and most of all, food that could have fed a hungry mouth!

Source: Daily mail

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