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Food waste ?


observer
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At a time when Councils are fiddling with bin collection frequencies, it seems that estimates of global "food waste" are as high as 50%.  So, shouldn't the powers that be, be starting with a "waste reduction" strategy?  Firstly, by getting a grip of the S/markets; with their excess packaging, buying for product appearance, causing farmers to plough back odd sized veg etc; promoting 2 for 1 offers, tempting us to buy more than we can consume and the ever present obsession with use by dates. With food pricing and food poverty on the increase (even at home), surely now is the time for politicians to be getting a grip? Seems also, that those pictures of starving Africans could be avoided, as around 80% of the rice harvest in the third world is lost due to poor storage and transport (perhaps something our overseas aid could be targeted to solve?).

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I would take any official "estimate" of anything with a very large pinch of salt. It is all part of the conditioning process, and they know that it's highly unlikely that anybody would be bothered to find out the truth.

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Good points Obs and we also need to take individual responsibility and only buy what we need to eat so that we reduce our waste.

I agree Geoff, :x  but we are living in a throw away society, where people seem to have too much money to be thrifty. Perhaps the Goverment cutbacks might focus people's attention, but I won't hold my breath.

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Well, based on observations of my own bin or the bins outside S/markets and shops, and Mrs Obs obsession with sell by dates and 2 for 1 offers;  I would think this latest estimate to be credible. It's also been a well known fact, that the S/Markets buy in for appearance, and will reject perfectly edible farm produce as a result. There is also the tendency to ready-made packaged meals, rather than fresh produce and the lack of cooking skills to re-use food (EG in soups, curries or bubble & squeak).

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Individual responsibility implies an element of choice. Perhaps all the veg that S.markets refuse to buy in from suppliers, due to it's appearance, were to be made available in the S/market ; presumably it would be cheaper and give those in food poverty a choice?

 

Or turned into soups for consumption and/or packaged for distribution at food banks?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting pro about S/Markets the other night:  seems the wheel has turned full circle and they are now opening smaller "express" outlets in local areas. Trouble is, they tend to be more expensive, which was the reason the out of Town S/Markets replaced the old corner shop in the first place - only difference is the big s/mkt chains control them. There was also concern at the way veg is sold, some by item, some by weight, some by special offer - so folk can't work out which is cheaper.

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As long as the veg are fairly clean and you are not buying soil, it doesn't matter what size or shape they are. It's criminal what the farmers have to plough back because of the Supermarkets dictating.

Don't get me on to Supermarkets. We called one today, after going to the HJ for a small op(wife) and it was cherche the food isles. WHY oh why do they have to have everything under one roof?

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Presume the large "out of Town" S/Markets were cheaper (buy in bulk, less transportation cost etc), and it was a time of the growing use of the car.  Seems they've now realised that the corner shop model is even more convenient, causes less traffic impact - but naturally more expensive. The problem Asp, is you can't use maths to compare prices as the units are different.

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Seems there have been a couple of programs on the tv about this sort of thing. Did see a bit of one that was looking at the difference in price of "loose" vegetables over " pre-packed" vegetables. Some of the price differences were staggering when they compared the per kg cost. some of the packed ones were over fifty pence dearer than the loose equivalent.

 

I have noticed that not many supermarkets have scales in their fruit and veg aisles any more.

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It's partly our own fault, the politicians have allowed the S/Markets to totally dominate the market and dictate our shopping requirments;  bleeding their suppliers and wasting perfectly good produce cos of it's appearance.  Perhaps we should all encourage and support "Farmer's Markets" ?

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The problem Asp, is you can't use maths to compare prices as the units are different.

 

You come out with some errant nonsense Obs. How else are you going to compare prices other than WITH MATHS?? DOH!!!!!!

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You will have to be a bit more specific about what items you are talking about. Vegetables? Tins of ox tail soup? Meat pies? Joints of meat? Frozen chips? Bananas?Bottled drinks? Brown sauce? Bags of rice? It all boils down to maths if you want to compare prices per pound/kilo/unit/tin/packet or whatever so your assertion that it isn't possible to compare things just doesn't hold water. If it wasn't possible then the supermarkets wouldn't be able to control their prices would they?

 

It seems to me that you are clutching at straws in your attempt to criticise supermarkets for doing what they do - providing a service that the majority of people like. If people didn't like what supermarkets do then supermarkets wouldn't exist because nobody would use them. You are like the people who rioted when Tesco opened one of their small shops "because us locals don't want Tesco here". Well if that were really true then the small Tesco would die from lack of trade wouldn't it?

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Not my beef at all Asp; but a TV prog about S/Markets; and it was the prog presenter who raised the problem of price comparison in the veg dept - I merely agreed with her point. As for " local" s/markets, no probs, been using the local co-op for years; alas the local butcher a veg shops have gone.

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Oh so it was some TV presenter who said that you can't use maths to compare prices then. It just goes to show you don't need any brains to be on TV, just good looks and a bad case of verbosity.

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I don’t know about anyone else but I’m getting increasingly peed off with some of the supermarket “deals”.

 

I did my shopping this morning and this weeks meal deal on offer was four “fresh” meals for £10 but unless I buy four they want to charge me £5 for each and that’s just plain wrong. I don’t want four meals even if two of them are free they’ll only end up going in the bin. Why on earth can’t they just say 50% off and then it doesn’t penalise individuals and smaller families.

It’s not just the ethical issue of waste that annoys me but the fact that I feel that I’m being completely ripped off by being expected to pay double what others are paying. Clearly the individual price marked on these items has been deliberately set artificially high just to make the deal look even better. We need legislation to ban all such BOGOF type deals (especially on basic food items) and instead use only none discriminatory discounts on the basic sales price.

50% off YES :) .

Buy one get one free Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo  :x

Bill :)

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Why are you acting as if you are being to forced to buy these meals Bill. If you don't like it go somewhere else. It's a free country and there are loads of shops.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not as many as there used to be alas.  The S/markets dominate food retail, and their size and combined monopoly ensure cheaper prices. However, as we're now learning, driving down the prices of suppliers can lead to desperate attempts to provide lower prices by including horse meat etc in "beef" products.  Those that cop out, would generally be the lazy or ignorant (unable to cook) or simply those too poor to shop for real beef at the butchers. I believe even before the horse meat scare, some beef burgers contained less than 50% beef, with fat etc making up the rest - so no wonder poverty has led to a poor diet and an obesity epidemic.

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Every town and city has at least one market with food stalls selling good, wholesome and fresh, meat and vegetables. I think you are exaggerating the problem Obs.

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