Thursday, 19 November 2015

Waste not, want not

I believe there was a time that nobody minded 'wonky' vegetables - their very existence was indeed celebrated by Esther Rantzen and her team on 'That's Life!', with an item dedicated to showing their photographs.

I wouldn't mind buying them now either.  OK, so carrots and parsnips are more challenging to peel if they've got a few lumps and bumps, but it's no great hardship really is it?

Therefore I found Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's recent programme about food waste shocking.  I couldn't believe the amount of good quality food which was going to waste because it wasn't the 'perfect' size and shape.

The supermarkets claim that it's us, the consumers, who want our fruit and veg to look perfect.  I can't answer for you of course, but I know for a fact that nobody has ever asked me my opinion about wonky veg or fruit.

As long as fruit isn't overripe, and veg isn't mouldy, I would happily stick it in the trolley.

Perhaps naively I thought that supermarkets gave food that was close to its best-before dates to charities to feed the homeless etc.  Apparently that isn't always the case.  Only a very small proportion of food is given to charities, the rest is just thrown away.

If, like me, you don't agree with how supermarkets are wasting good food, we can do something about it.

I appreciate that not everybody can grow their own, or shop at farmers' markets or a local greengrocer.  But we can voice our concerns to the supermarkets and tell them that we would eat fruit and veg that they deem not to be 'perfect'.

We can ask that they give more to charities, instead of putting it into skips and feeding it into anaerobic digesters or dumping it in landfill.

We have the power to demand change and stop this criminal waste of food.  Vote with your feet and go elsewhere if your supermarket doesn't comply - remember if we all shout loudly enough, they will have to listen.

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