Monday Moaning

Reports that America, England and Europe waste about 50% of their food from the farm to the mouth.

Produce is not perfect or ripening correctly or not the right shape or not the right colour, so it is left to rot on the farm. Transport methods damaging produce on the way to market. Storage in shops and supermarkets. Waste in preparing the food in the kitchen. Throwing out prepared food at home when there is too much; and finally, simply buying too much and it ends up on the compost or rubbish cans.

UK supermarkets reject ‘wasted food’ report claims

The report said half the food bought in Europe and the US ended up in the bin

Britain’s biggest supermarkets have been defending their practices after a report suggested that up to half of the world’s food is thrown away.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers said the waste was being caused by poor storage, strict sell-by dates, bulk offers and consumer fussiness.

The British Retail Consortium said supermarkets have “adopted a range of approaches” to combat waste.

They also lobbied the EU to relax laws stopping the sale of misshaped produce.

According to the report – Global Food; Waste Not, Want Not – from the UK-based institution, as much as half of the world’s food, amounting to two billion tonnes worth, is wasted.

Its study claims that up to 30% of vegetables in the UK were not harvested because of their physical appearance.

‘Waste of resources’

The report said that between 30% and 50% of the four billion tonnes of food produced around the world each year went to waste.

It suggested that half the food bought in Europe and the US was thrown away.

Dr Tim Fox, head of energy and environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said: “The amount of food wasted and lost around the world is staggering. This is food that could be used to feed the world’s growing population – as well as those in hunger today.

“It is also an unnecessary waste of the land, water and energy resources that were used in the production, processing and distribution of this food.

“The reasons for this situation range from poor engineering and agricultural practices, inadequate transport and storage infrastructure through to supermarkets demanding cosmetically perfect foodstuffs and encouraging consumers to overbuy through buy-one-get-one-free offers.”

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The human race really needs to get its act together. Wasting 50% of the world’s produce is a hideous example of our civilisation.

The you can add to that waste when food is discarded because it has reached its validity date.

We have a large percentage of the world crying out for food, and we just throw it away.

There are water shortages throughout the world, and we waste it growing produce that will never be consumed.

Humanity really needs to wake up its ideas and put our feet back on the ground. We have been namby-pambied for too long when we won’t eat fruit or vege because it is the wrong shape or colour.

This has to stop!

There is nothing wrong with this tomato!

It still tastes like a tomato!

There is no defence for waste!


14 responses to this post.

  1. Woof. I am not sure I would eat that tomato. 😛 I have grown and seen many people grow ttomatos and not a one looked like that! I would probably be willing to feed it to my animals though. However, I have no problem with most mis-shapen veggies and agree that cosmetically perfect produce is dumb. My sister won’t even eat apples that have weather marks on them.



    • >quarteracre, I’d have no qualms about eating it, it’s a tomato. Perhaps I would use it in a homemade sauce, or a spaghetti topping, but it would still be used. Without offence, your sister is a prime example of the namby-pambying that I mentioned.

      Thanks for stopping by and the comment, appreciated.




      • Posted by smallftprints on January 14, 2013 at 5:46 pm

        I’d eat it … bet it’s sweet & delicious! There are some people in the world who would consider our trash a gourmet feast. It’s sad that many have become so finicky! I once saw a Jacques Pepin cooking show and he said that his mother bought wilted, sad looking veggies for a fraction of the cost and turned them into fabulous soups and nourishing meals. We really do need to change our perception of “beautiful” produce. Here’s another thought … if we knew exactly what was causing veggies to be ‘beautiful”, we might not think so well of that produce (think chemicals, gmo, etc.). Thanks, AV!


      • >SF, I agree, if people knew what was in their ‘perfect’ fruit and vege, maybe they mightn’t be so keen. Sometimes I over buy when they have big bags of less than saleable produce at the supermarket for R$1 (50 cents US), use what I can and compost the rest.



  2. Posted by Josta on January 15, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Agreed. Although I am a conscious consumer, I have only recently become aware that I also tend to reach for the items with undamaged packaging, or non-bruised etc. Nowadays when I notice myself reaching for something ‘better/cleaner’ etc I stop and deliberately buy those products. I would hate for those to be thrown away at the end of the day if I could have prevented that.
    But how do we make people more aware?? 😦



    • >Josta, thanks for your visit and comment. It’s gratifying to know that there are people who are conscious of the problem. But you ask the million dollar question at the end, But how do we make people more aware?? 😦

      My answer is that I guess that is what blogging is all about, spreading the word. A small contribution, if you are shopping with a friend and she goes to buy only the ‘perfect’ produce, you could always throw the hint, if it sticks, then that’s one more person and so on. I have done this, and believe me with Brazilians it’s a tough road.

      Great stuff, thanks




      • Posted by Josta, The Netherlands on January 21, 2013 at 7:27 am

        Thanks AV. Agreed. And I always forward your blog posts or add them to my Facebook page when I want the message to reach more people than just myself. It’s indeed a good start, and hopefully it will be a cascade effect.


      • >Josta, personally I don’t FB, I have tried but Google doesn’t like me using my pseudonym AV, so they closed my account. Thank you for adding my posts to yours, appreciated.



  3. Posted by Alex Jones on January 15, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    It is in the area of the criminally insane for the wastage to happen.



  4. Great tomato and I’m sure its tasty, tasty.

    Humanity is sleeping because we have been trampled on and haven’t even realised it. Food waste involves a big business and a lot of money. Bad consumer habits have been promoted to insure that more and more is unnecessarily produced and bought!



    • >magentalemon, you are right, people have to be re-educated. I checked out your blog post, also a powerful message and I urge anyone reading thee comments to check it out.

      Thanks for stopping by and the support.




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