Change of attitude needed over food

As much as half the world's food ends up being thrown away, say investigators.

As much as half the world's food ends up being thrown away, say investigators. - Credit: Archant

WITH millions struggling to feed themselves all over the world – and even in this country in these tough times – it is shocking and scandalous to hear that up to half the world’s food is wasted.

Food thrown away by families buying or cooking too much, meals unfinished in restaurants, and supermarkets – the worst culprits –because it’s passed its sell-by date, or left in the fields to rot because it doesn’t come up to the standard demanded by fussy consumers.

With the population increasing unstoppably, and land being taken for homes, solar farms and crops for bio-fuels, the pressure is on to feed the world.

According to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers two billion tonnes a year is thrown away each year, including half the food bought in Europe and the USA.

In the UK 30 per cent of vegetables grown are simply not harvested because of their physical appearance.


You may also want to watch:


One farmer on TV displayed a handful of spring onions – three-quarters of which would never be eaten because the supermarkets said they were not large enough, bent instead of straight, tops gnawed by an insect. Edible, but not perfect. Not what customers expect to find on the shelves.

His swedes were deemed too small, and his cauliflowers had slight imperfections. His lettuces were left to rot in the field because the supply chain had too many.

Most Read

If we had grown any of these vegetables in our gardens, we would have eaten them without a thought – sliced off the discoloured bit of cauli, couldn’t care less that a swede was small, not worried by something being less than straight as long as it tasted just as good.

It is particularly galling when you look at the churches and other charity groups in Felixstowe and Ipswich working hard to run emergency stores to provide food parcels for recession-hit families who cannot afford food.

Coming from a background where you never left a scrap because it cost money and could not be wasted to hear that people routinely throw food in the bin is shocking.

If we are to feed the extra three billion the population is expected to grow by in the next 60 years then we all have to change our habits, mindsets, and supermarkets will have to set their standards aside and start using what is grown.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter