Wordless Wednesday’s Waste Management
When we find out through Tristram Stuart’s chilling book Waste Uncovering The Global Food Scandal, that farmers, manufacturers, supermarkets and consumers in North America and Europe discard up to half of their food – enough to feed all the world’s hungry at least three times over, it make us want to do something.
There is this cheering story of how he did something about dealing with the waste involving apples and other fruits falling off personal gardens in the UK! When he was a young student staying with friends they would forage the local small shops that threw out huge amounts of good food – of every kind.
They would be able to bring home two to three sackloads of luxury food – from mature Stilton cheese to smart jars of apricots preserved in Cognac, packaged organic vegetables and fruit yoghurts. He would also regularly find one or two hundred pounds worth of food dumped on the street as garbage – far too much for even their collective household to consume. Once his housemates found a sack of fifty pots of Ben & Jerry’s, Haagen Dazs and Green & Black Organic ice cream straight out of the freezer. It took the best part of six months to work their way through it all.
Then, many years later he was appalled to see the waste of good apples falling off local personal gardens while consumers bought insipid fruit from other countries sold in plastic bags, in the supermarket at a very high price! So through the internet he made contact with anyone wishing to donate their fruits. He got instant response and people begged him to come and collect all their fresh apples! They got a mountain of apples! He and his friends and neighbours with the children made massive amounts of apple juice for everyone to enjoy and the remaining was turned into delicious cider that lasted for many parties!
We all have the power to stop waste in our own small backyard the book tells again and again! He says that ‘’Treat best-before dates with extreme scepticism – they aren’t telling you the food is harmful after that date – if it looks and smells fine – eat it! Use-by dates are generally calculated with a wide margin of error. Don’t risk food poisoning but do ensure that anything such as raw meat you decide to eat after its use date has been properly refrigerated and thoroughly cooked. Sell-by dates: ignore them entirely, they are irrelevant.
Try measuring over the period of a month, or so, exactly how much food you throw away, then improve on it!