Monday, 15 October 2012

Blog Action Day: The Power of We

Today's Food Programme was about food waste.  15 million tonnes of food is thrown away in the UK every year.  Tristram Stuart interviewed a variety of people involved in trying either to reduce this mountain of waste or at least divert it to people who need it.

There are a number of reasons why food is wasted.  Some of it remains unharvested, some is rejected because it does not meet quality or aesthetic standards, some is damaged in transport or storage, some is surplus to requirements, some exceeds its best before date ... The list goes on.

But there are also a variety of organisations dedicated to rescuing waste food before it is dumped in a landfill site.  Volunteers harvest unwanted crops, collect rejected food from the back doors of supermarkets, pass it on to vulnerable people, use it to prepare meals for the homeless, make it into jams and chutneys ...

It was fascinating listening but the bit that caught my attention was right at the end, when Tristram Stuart observed that the most effective food related campaigns in recent years (ie GM, sustainable fishing, free range poultry) have been largely consumer led, and suggested that if we, the customers, were to ask supermarkets to stock knobbly fruit and vegetables and make more of their food waste available to charities, then they would more than likely do so.

So, if you are concerned about the amount of food being dumped in landfill then exercise 'the power of we'.

PS  It is worth noting that almost 50% of food waste is in our homes, and 60% of this is avoidable. So 'we' could launch our campaign in our own trolleys, kitchens and dining rooms. For tips on how to do this log in to Love Food Hate Waste


  1. Yay! I love NOT wasting food. I think I'm reasonably good at using up all the food we buy, though I do confess to the last bits of salad and other greens turning liquid in the bottom of the fridge from time to time. You have just shamed me into turning some rather soft beetroot into a soup. xxx

    (and I did hear that we might have to get used to some mis-shapen fruit and veg in the shops because it's been such a wet growing season)

  2. Beetroot soup is proper autumn fodder. Such a beautiful colour too.

    I roasted a handful of small beetroots the other day and combined slices of them with quarters of a soft boiled egg and a couple of anchovy fillets to produce one of Hugh's Three Good Things dishes. It was delicious.