Don't throw away perfectly good food

Paulc

On holiday by mistake
From BBC website:

People are needlessly throwing away 3.6m tonnes of food each year in England and Wales, research suggests.

The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) found that salad, fruit and bread were most commonly wasted and 60% of all dumped food was untouched.

The study analysed the waste disposed of by 2,138 households.

Environment Minister Joan Ruddock said the findings were "staggering" at a time of global food shortages and WRAP added it was an environmental issue.

'Value of food'

The study found that £9bn of avoidable food waste was disposed of in England and Wales each year.

It is mostly food that could have been consumed if it had been better stored or managed, or had not been left uneaten on a plate.

Much of that food waste goes into landfill rather than into council food disposal and composting programmes, it said. There are climate change costs to all of us of growing, processing, packaging, transporting, and refrigerating food that only ends up in the bin

Based on the data for England and Wales, WRAP estimated that householders across the UK throw away £10.2bn of avoidable food waste every year.

Using the same extrapolation, they also estimated the average UK household needlessly throws away 18% of all food purchased. Families with children throw away 27%.


The study also suggested £1bn worth of food wasted in the UK was still "in date".

Nearly a quarter, in terms of cost, was disposed of because the "use by" or "best before" date had expired.

Liz Goodwin, chief executive of WRAP, said food waste had "a significant environmental impact. READ THE REPORT


"What shocked me the most was the cost of our food waste at a time of rising food bills, and generally a tighter pull on our purse strings," Ms Goodwin said.

"It highlights that this is an economic and social issue, as well as about how much we understand the value of our food."


The study also found that:

Bakery goods made up 19%, by weight, of all avoidable food waste. Vegetables contributed 18%.
Meat and fish also made up a large proportion - 18% - of the total money wasted on food. WRAP said 5,500 whole chickens were thrown away each day in the UK.

"Mixed foods" like ready meals made up 21% of the total cost of waste, with 440,000 thrown away each day.
The two most significantly wasted foods that could have been eaten were potatoes and bread
Yoghurt was a commonly abandoned product, with an estimated 1.3m unopened pots disposed of each day.
WRAP receives government funding from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


The foods that we throw away the most
The body says The Food We Waste survey is the first of its kind in the world, surveying both household habits and the actual waste they throw away.

The survey interviewed 2,715 households in England and Wales and several weeks later, analysed the rubbish of 2,138 of them.


Ms Ruddock said: "This is costing consumers three times over.

"Not only do they pay hard-earned money for food they don't eat, there is also the cost of dealing with the waste this creates.


"And there are climate change costs to all of us of growing, processing, packaging, transporting, and refrigerating food that only ends up in the bin."
 

EPbabe

Active Member
Oh geez, this makes me sick. :( I try to avoid chucking food away, just as I try to buy local products, no ready meals and when it comes to fruit and vegetables, I tend to pick the ones without packaging. If there is any bread left, I let it dry and make breadcrumbs. It's not that difficult, really.:rolleyes:
 
I'd say it's damn near impossible not to throw at least some food away, but you can compost just about anything other than meats & grease.

You can also salvage a lot of food.

Vegetables that are turning can be boiled for stock, fermented/pickled (something that many cultures have turned into an art form; look up Japanese tsukemono), or thrown into a soup.

Spoiled bits of fruit can be cut off, and the good parts used in a fruit salad, or fermented into wine--mash up the fruit in a jar or bottle, add a bit of sugar if needed, fill with water, and leave open on your counter, but stretch a dish towel or bit of cheesecloth across the top--the rotting fruit will attract the yeast that's in the air.

Stale bread can be turned into croutons, breadcrumbs, or even kvass (bread-based beer).

I don't do nearly as much of this as I should, partly because I'm lazy, and partly because Mrs. NRitH & the NRitHlets think it all makes the house smell like shit. :D
 

EPbabe

Active Member
I'd say it's damn near impossible not to throw at least some food away, but you can compost just about anything other than meats & grease.

Well it's not that easy if you don't have your own garden, but I get your point and agree with you. :)

(Fermented vegetables stink but they are sooooo tasty...)
 

Paulc

On holiday by mistake
MrsC and i are guilty of throwing food away too.

I think part of the problem is planning and memory! We go shopping and forget what we already have - and end up throwing the older stuff away. Its criminal really!

But we have got better recently - there is a little tesco express near us and we are getting into the habit of stopping there on the way home from work to just pick up what we need for the next couple of days - we are throwing away much less since we do this.

Also in our area we can add foodwaste to the recycling but as they only collect every two weeks in doesnt smell great!

We can all do out bit to save the planet - throwing away less food is one, using public transport is another, recycling as much as possible is getting easier - if everyone tried to do these fairly simple things it would soon add up.
 

EPbabe

Active Member
MrsC and i are guilty of throwing food away too.

I never said I didn't throw away food. But you are right about planning, I guess that's the answer.

I've just had an idea: there should be a container of some kind where people could put food they don't need anymore and the needy could go there and get it. :) It's just a little bit naive, right? :rolleyes:
 
I think part of the problem is planning and memory! We go shopping and forget what we already have - and end up throwing the older stuff away. Its criminal really!

But we have got better recently - there is a little tesco express near us and we are getting into the habit of stopping there on the way home from work to just pick up what we need for the next couple of days - we are throwing away much less since we do this.

A couple years ago I read that Tesco was going to try to break into the American market with those little express shops, but I haven't heard anything about them since. The closest thing we have now is convenience stores, but they just sell junk food; on the rare occasions when they have any produce, it's just a few waxy apples & bananas.

My stepdad, who's from Yorkshire, still stops by the grocery store every day on the way home from work to buy the ingredients for dinner. While I'd like to say that that cuts down on their food waste, it DOESN'T. What's worse is that he & my mother don't recycle ANYTHING--cans, newspapers, bottles, etc. And the nearest grocery store is a couple miles from their house, so if anything, his daily shopping runs are costing them a shitload in gas. (I won't even tell you what MPG their cars get.)

Also in our area we can add foodwaste to the recycling but as they only collect every two weeks in doesnt smell great!

We can all do out bit to save the planet - throwing away less food is one, using public transport is another, recycling as much as possible is getting easier - if everyone tried to do these fairly simple things it would soon add up.

Very true. If anything, this spike in global fuel prices is helping more people give some thought to these issues.
 
I've just had an idea: there should be a container of some kind where people could put food they don't need anymore and the needy could go there and get it. :) It's just a little bit naive, right? :rolleyes:

There is. It's called a Dumpster. :D
dumpster-diving5.jpg


I'm only half kidding. We've salvaged lots of furniture over the years from dumpsters & trash piles. Never food, though, although a friend of mine was an avid diver for years, and she got tons of food from doing it. :sick:
 

Paulc

On holiday by mistake
My stepdad, who's from Yorkshire, still stops by the grocery store every day on the way home from work to buy the ingredients for dinner. While I'd like to say that that cuts down on their food waste, it DOESN'T. What's worse is that he & my mother don't recycle ANYTHING--cans, newspapers, bottles, etc.

thats a shame but i am sure their local council will be implementing recycling measures soon if they havent already. And if they arent they should get onto their council about it.

Where i live we now have 4 different bins - only one of which is for stuff that cant be recycled. Also there are loads of recycling bins dotted around so for us there is really is no excuse.
 

EPbabe

Active Member
Where i live we now have 4 different bins - only one of which is for stuff that cant be recycled. Also there are loads of recycling bins dotted around so for us there is really is no excuse.

Same here. :)
 
thats a shame but i am sure their local council will be implementing recycling measures soon if they havent already. And if they arent they should get onto their council about it.

That's just it--their town DOES have weekly pickup of all those recyclable items! There's really no excuse. I think that my mom would like to do it, but my step-dad just pooh-poohs it and tells her it's a waste of time. WTF?

Where i live we now have 4 different bins - only one of which is for stuff that cant be recycled. Also there are loads of recycling bins dotted around so for us there is really is no excuse.

Same here. We recycle everything, even the stuff that there's no weekly collection for. I save all my batteries & lightbulbs, for example, & bring them to Ikea once every couple of months for recycling (since that's the only place around that takes lightbulbs, for example).
 

mozzia

Voluntary Member
I've just had an idea: there should be a container of some kind where people could put food they don't need anymore and the needy could go there and get it. :) It's just a little bit naive, right? :rolleyes:

I agree with this. I hate seeing perfectly good, or even not perfect but still edible food being thrown away. I've wondered before why restaurants and shops and other businesses dont also do the same thing. So much decent food gets chucked...it could go to a place where the homeless or needy could collect it...it would reduce rubbish, and help people at the same time. :)
 
I agree with this. I hate seeing perfectly good, or even not perfect but still edible food being thrown away. I've wondered before why restaurants and shops and other businesses dont also do the same thing. So much decent food gets chucked...it could go to a place where the homeless or needy could collect it...it would reduce rubbish, and help people at the same time. :)

It's a liability issue. At every restaurant I worked at, I asked why we couldn't just set out some of the perfectly fine stuff on a table next to the dumpster. I was always told that the restaurant's insurance policy had a specific clause forbidding such a thing, because they didn't want to get sued if, for example, some of the food spoiled & made a homeless person sick. We had to lock up the dumpsters every night. Ridiculous.
 

mozzia

Voluntary Member
It's a liability issue. At every restaurant I worked at, I asked why we couldn't just set out some of the perfectly fine stuff on a table next to the dumpster. I was always told that the restaurant's insurance policy had a specific clause forbidding such a thing, because they didn't want to get sued if, for example, some of the food spoiled & made a homeless person sick. We had to lock up the dumpsters every night. Ridiculous.

Really? Well, that really does seem stupid and over-the top, but theres not much the restaurant can do in that situation is there? They can't risk getting into legal trouble. Its such a shame...I mean the likelihood of a homeless person getting ill from the food is minimal. I'm sure they would just be extremely grateful for having a full stomach that day. And, it could also reduce theft and maybe even some begging, couldn't it? If they are not so desperate or hungry, they are less likely to go to extreme measures. To me, the positives far out-weigh the possible negatives of giving left-over food to people who need it, instead of chucking it in a bin.
Its just such a shame that laws and insurance policies prevent it.
 
Cool; thanks for the link. So what do these places look like? Just small grocery stores?

Yeah, sort of similar to Trader Joes, but not as big. They also have a lot more obscure produce that is harder to find, and they have a lot of ready made snacks and meals. Like the kind of stuff you would take to work for lunch. I bought a lot of lunches to take to work when I lived there, and it was usually pretty good.
 

Hellie

Lost
I rarely chuck anything away.I'm famous for rustling a meal up out of all the scraps left in the fridge.And to my shame I sometimes even cut the mouldy crust off the bread and then make croutons out of it.:D
 
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