Today, on the BBC News Magazine website, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has an excellent article about the scandal of food waste in the UK. In a time of austerity, when over a million people are relying on foodbanks and taking food out of supermarket waste bins, should we really be throwing away perfectly good food, simply because the computer thinks it doesn't look right? I've ranted before about food waste, and there's not much point in me going over it all again, because Hugh sums it up very well indeed.
A couple of years ago, the French supermarket, Intermarché started selling 'les fruits et légumes moches' - ugly fruit and veg, 30% cheaper than the 'perfect' food. It was a great success and people did eschew the better-looking produce in favour of the ugly produce. Why aren't our supermarkets doing this? Why is so much wasted, not even being used for animal feed for or being composted back into the ground to help to fertilise it? Why are we spending a fortune importing food when we're throwing away so much in our own country? It just doesn't make sense to me.
Not all of the food waste occurs at the production end, though. Households throw away a phenomenal amount of food, because the computer tells them what date to throw it away, instead of using their common sense, or because they bought something on a 'BOGOF' (Buy one, get one free) deal and then don't bother to eat it. As Hugh points out in his article, people do a weekly or monthly 'big shop', buy far more than they actually need and then end up dumping a lot of it. It's a waste of money, a waste of food, and is a complete and utter disgrace.
It's time to start thinking, and stop wasting food.