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Food wastage appears to be on the increase.


Pine Man
Resolved

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Recent reports suggest that food wastage is on the increase and now accounts for about 50% of what is purchased.

I may be looking at this from the wrong perspective but - does it really matter?

The food that has been wasted has been paid for.

The food that has been wasted is being recycled.

If the food that has been wasted isn't recycled it is readily bio-degraded.

The food that is wasted cannot be used in most cases to help countries that are suffering famine.

So who actually suffers from food wastage? Certainly not the people who produce it, transport it or sell it.

I know I'm probably missing a fundamental point here and certainly wastage should be frowned on.

But.....

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Pine Man

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My initial post ended with:-

I know I'm probably missing a fundamental point here and certainly wastage should be frowned on.

..and the whole post was slightly tongue in cheek BUT I do think your counter argument is a bit thin.

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Armchair

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Went to my local Morrisons on January 3rd. Spotted some 800g oven ready trays of carrots and parsnips for £4 which had a Use By date of January 2nd. I'd bought one of these packs a few weeks earlier, and they were delicious. I asked an assistant if these were now selling at a reduced price because they were past their Use By date. She said she was sure that weren't full price now, and took a pack away to check the price. She returned a few minutes later and informed me that Morrisons could not sell them because they were were past their Use By date. I said I was aware of that, but I quite happy to buy a couple of packs at a reduced price, and that in my opinion they would be fine. It was no go. I asked what would happen to them, and was told that they would be destroyed. There were about twenty packs on display. She actually said, "It's crazy, isn't it?". I agreed.

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spuds

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Armchair

Funny that you should mention this and Morrisons. Late last year we bought two packaged fish products from our local Morrisons, and on arrival home found both same product to be a day pass use by date. Nobody had noticed this.

Another incident last year was at Asda. Female shelf stacker had just removed some items off a shelf and left them on a trolley, as she had been called away. Another assistant came along and commenced putting said items back on the shelf. It was then noticed that the use by date had just expired.Whoops?.

Not forgetting Tesco. Again last year, our local Tesco was selling fresh chickens on the must be sold immediately/that day Reduced Counter. On the special reduced price label- Was £5.00 now £4.50. Around the next aisle, fresh chickens with a few extra 'fresh' days left on label- £5.00 each two for £9.00.

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Forum Editor

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"BUT I do think your counter argument is a bit thin."

Then your head is in the sand. UK householders throw away about 7.5 million tons of food each year. Another 7.5 million tons is wasted by the hotel and catering industry.

As far as householders are concerned, the wasted food is collected by local authorities and ends up going into landfill sites. The cost of all this comes out of the local authority budget, and is consequently passed onto those who pay a community charge. In other words, you pay some of the cost of disposing of your neighbours' wasted food. You also pay some of the costs incurred in disposing of waste food from hotels and restauarants - via the price of your room or your meal, and again, via your community charge.

In the end, everyone pays for everything to some extent.

Still think my argument is a 'bit thin'?

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spuds

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I recall the days when food wastage, especially from commercial premises was collected as animal feed. Many a pig farm had boilers working night and day.

Even the backyard smallholder benefited by this.

Now there's recycling for you!.

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Forum Editor

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spuds

As you will know, feeding waste food to pigs is banned by UK and EU law, but processes are available that turn waste food into animal feed.

There is at least one company that is already licensed by DEFRA and Trading Standards to process waste food into a crumb or pellets that can subsequently be fed to pigs.

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Woolwell

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Perhaps there should be more anaerobic digestion plants which takes farm and food waste and converts it into methane for power production and also produces fertiliser. A dairy farm nearby has a plant and collects food waste from restaurants and over 60,000 homes.

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Aitchbee

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Regarding the amounts of food thrown out by bigname supermarkets on items that are past their sell-by-dates, I reckon that the LIDL chain is/are the least wasteful.

The COOP supermarkets,on the other hand, [whose mantra is 'GOOD with FOOD'] are the most wasteful, in my experience ... but if you are able time your shopping trips to late evenings & near the end-of-the-month, you will get great price reductions at their stores ... so I'd better not [totally] bite off the hand that feeds :o]

Personally, I have stopped buying fresh milk and now use powdered milk for my tea and coffee, 'cos I was always discarding large quantities of unused milk in the past.

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nickf

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I heard on the radio this afternoon that a company has developed a plastic that turns bright red when certain chemicals come into contact with it . They happen to be the chemicals released by food stuffs as they degrade , is this a way forward ? A lot of people get confused by the difference between a use by and a sell by date . A use by date is a legal date , a sell by date is only a manufactures recommendation .

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