Waking up to food waste

It looks like we are beginning to wake up to the issue of food waste. We are being told that if we are going to feed the world we will need to double food production with all the stress on planetary resources that that will bring (land use, soil depletion, energy inputs, water, etc) and yet we have too often been ignoring the fact that between 30% and 45% of the food produced never reaches us, it is “wasted”. 

So it is great to read that supermarkets and other retailers are starting to tackle this issue, for example the Coop have just signed a deal with FairShare. This is great news but so much more could be done and what would be even better would be if we could change our whole attitude towards food production and retailing so that there was less “wastage” in the first place.

France passes new law forbidding food waste

France has passed a new law forbidding food waste by larger grocery stores and supermarkets. You can read more about this at:

http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/france-passes-new-law-forbidding-food-waste.html

But things aren’t all that simple! As you will see if you read the whole article – “… restaurants waste 15 percent and consumers 67 percent” of food in France and it is probably a similar situation in this country. We can blame the supermarkets and the food chains be we, the consumers, need to change our habits as well and waste less food.

How might we start this change in ourselves?

Intercepted food

Here is some of the intercepted food that we took delivery of from TRJFP network. All of this food was destined to be thrown away and yet it is all perfectly edible!

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Let’s Feed Bellies, Not Bins!

Let’s Really Feed The World!

How much food is wasted, and where?

Studies have estimated that overall, two-thirds of global food loss and waste is due to post-harvest crop (and animal product) losses, during the harvesting (slaughtering in the case of animals), processing and distributing of food products. The final third results from waste that occurs during the processes linked to the consumption of food. In the case of industrialised countries, almost half of the total food waste – around 300 million metric tons annually – occurs as a result of producers, retailers and consumers discarding food that is still fit for human consumption.

From “Our Hungry Planet” futurelearn.com

Our Hungry Planet: Agriculture, People and Food Security – free online course

Future Learn are offering a free on line course called Our Hungry Planet which considers how the food we grow, buy, eat and throw away relates to the global issue of food security. The course is free and starts on May 8th. The course is aimed at anyone with an interest in food, food security and food waste; farming and agriculture; or sustainability and you don’t need any previous experience or qualifications to join it. It should take about 3 hours a week for 6 weeks.

If you do join up for the course do please let us know how you get on and what you think of it.

Feeding Britain – APPG inquiry into food poverty

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) inquiry into food poverty has just been published and can be downloaded from here

And here is an interesting commentary from the Rev Keith Hebden of End Hunger Fast.

Food waste does get a mention in the report along with a lot of mentions of food banks. If we really want to end food poverty then we are going to have to tackle the issue from all directions and involve lots of joined up thinking and collaboration between all sorts of groups with different agendas. Let’s hope that this happens soon and that food poverty, food banks, food waste and TRJFP become things of the past!

Horsforth Food Exchange

From Twitter on 28th Nov:

Horsforth food exchange did 1st household waste food inception last night. 8.5kg of food all making their way to all hallows

 

More to follow on this amazing new organisation. If only more communities would do this to highlight the amount of quality food that is wasted. Maybe we would then learn to reduce our waste and reduce the stress we put on our planet and the people and creatures with whom we share it.