/ Food waste

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Moley on 14 Nov 2017
Been a news item a couple of days, 10 million tons per annum I think. I'm sure nobody on the forum will admit to dumping food out the fridge, but any thoughts as to why the public hold food in such low esteem?
The waste comes from the whole industry, but we are the consumers, was WW2 rationing the last time we fully appreciated food?
mypyrex - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Moley:

I believe part of the problem is the stupid system of "sell by" and "use by" dates. Time was when(maybe as recently as the seventies) when people used their common sense in judging whether food had "gone off".

Nowadays I think food producers are so scared of litigation that they apply ridiculously short shelf lives.
LeeWood - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Moley:

I'm with you - food waste is apalling, but its a small part of all our consumer mal-doings, and fortunately we can always peer across the Atlantic and pat ourselves on the back knowing the yanks are worse.
Wanderer100 - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

I'm trying to educate my kids to not worry too much about best before and sell by dates. A day or 2 past the best before date should make very little difference to the food and if in doubt apply the sniff test. It should be very obvious when date sensitive food has gone off, especially chicken and fish.
Milk and cheese normally last well beyond their use by date as do eggs. Bread can be toasted or mould can be cut out if it starts to display some green patches.
My worst habit is not using fresh veg and fruit on time although old veg can still be used to make stock or soup as long as it hasnt gone soggy.
Jenny C on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Moley:
Another problem is the way food is prepacked. If you live alone buying small quantities of fresh food is often far more expensive than buying the bulk packs, so it is easy to get lured into buying in bulk and then having things go off before you manage to eat it (a problem compounded by the fact my people don't appear to understand use by dates).
Post edited at 20:50
LeeWood - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Jenny C:
> often far more expensive than buying the bulk packs

Local supermarkets here in SW France sell 5kg potatoes for €1-50 but I'm not buying. I purchase at the local organic shop for the most part, where the prices are level. Makes you think - at what expense such production can be realised. So buy small qty's organic and rest assured you are doing yourself and the world a favour.

NB. bio / organic potato price is typically €2 / kg
Post edited at 07:27
girlymonkey - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Moley:

Food is cheap nowadays, so people don't feel the need to be so careful with it.
It's a sad place to be when we care so little about food and there are so many starving in the world
Deleted bagger - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

> Food is cheap nowadays, so people don't feel the need to be so careful with it.

That's been government policy since WW2.

Minimal food waste in our house. Any moldy veg gets cleaned up and made into soup or stock. Peelings etc get composted.

ianstevens - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

> Food is cheap nowadays, so people don't feel the need to be so careful with it.

Food is too cheap - it's cost doesn't really represent its price of production due to farm subsidies and weak environmental legislation.

> It's a sad place to be when we care so little about food and there are so many starving in the world

Moley on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

That is the comment that we make at home, it is at a price that public can still afford to waste food (or we are too wealthy). Of course, the other end of the spectrum has those that cannot afford any food (such as homeless and very poor) and rely on foodbanks etc. Or do some of the very poor simply not know how to how to source, buy and prepare very cheap food?

The usual comment from the public is the high cost of food, hence supermarkets cost cutting to attract customers, but if food is so expensive why is there such wastage?
There is also massive waste within the catering industry, pubs, restaurants, fast food outlets, who presumably just factor in a percentage of loss in their pricing - which we also pay for with our burger or whatever.

I don't know the answers, but it's all a bit depressing.
LeeWood - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

along with electricity, water, petrol and even smartphones which *have* to be upgraded to remain fashionable
cander - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Moley:

I've noticed that its better value to buy say a pack of six chops than just four separate ones, so that encourages people to buy more than they immediately need. However the surplus doesn't get used and either sits in the fridge for a week and ends up looking depressing, or gets stuffed in the freezer and gets forgotton about until the ritual annual freezer clear out - then they just get chucked.

Catering industry - It all used to go to pig swill, but since thats been banned (not sure why) as you say it just gets chucked.
profitofdoom on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Moley:

> was WW2 rationing the last time we fully appreciated food?

No if you go through poverty as I have you will really value food and everything else
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