A Wasteful Society

I could hardly believe what I read in the news today. Did you know that in Britain they literally throw away 10 million tonnes of food every year? I could hardly believe it when I read it,  for the figure seems impossible. It makes me wonder what the figure is in America and Canada, for they have much larger populations.

Spot The Difference

Spot The Difference

The average amount of good food that is thrown away by households in Britain is 260kg a year, and it makes me wonder why. With so many starving people in the world these figures are astounding.

One of the reasons is of course over production of food items in the country because of the great quest for profit. Secondly, it is the dates that producers put on their goods to show the maximum usage time for food which are not always accurate. Buying a loaf of bread would indicate that it must be eaten within, say three or four days, and then thrown away. It just means that after that period you need to go out and buy a new one – hence more profit for the bakery, the manufacturer and the farmer.

Much of our food will last way beyond the date that is stamped on it by the manufacturer, but many people don’t realize this, which leads to massive food waste.

A company in Britain has started gathering this food ‘waste’ and is providing a source of cheap food for those less well off. “The Real Junk Food Project”, started in Leeds, is gathering this so-called waste food from supermarkets, local businesses, restaurants and even allotments and selling it to the less well off.

The Real Junk Food Project

The Real Junk Food Project

People pay what they think the food is worth, not a fixed price, but can also work in the warehouse for the food they take with them. There can be little doubt that this company is a boon to those of us who are less well off.

But on the other hand, it is a disaster that so much food should be thrown away just because the expiry date has been exceeded.

As I mentioned before, all this food is being thrown away, while in many countries the people are starving to death. Of course it is not possible to ship this excess food to say Africa, but surely something can be done. Perhaps our farmers should be putting part of their fields aside to grow food that can be shipped to Africa and other starving nations.

Over-production is using up resources and killing the ground on which we grow our crops. In the end a large portion ends up in the rubbish bin. Why do we not scale back production to stop this drastic waste? No-one will consider that because it eats into their profits, and that is what its all about.


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