Monday, July 07, 2008

Why is thrift far less common these days? Why is there so much waste?

So, Gordon Brown has finally woken up to the fact that we waste massive amounts of food. Speaking as someone who, unless ill, never leaves food and hates waste of all sorts (its part my nature and part the way I was brought up I think), I agree that the situation is indeed atrocious.

I've read what he has said today (see here, here, and here) but have yet to see a list of actions he will now take to ensure that his Government are taking all the appropriate action they can on this. Is he just lecturing? Wanting to appear to be doing something? Or is there more?

Its bizarre isn't it that there is so much concern about rising petrol and diesel prices and yet there is so much speeding, erratic driving and poor car maintenance, which raises fuel consumption, costing the driver more. Gas and electricity prices are rising but many of us still waste energy, dont switch off and have not adequately insulated. Likewise there is concern about rising food prices but 33% of the food we buy is thrown away (equivalent to one bag in every three).

Of course not all those who complain of or worry about rising prices will also be wasteful but levels of fuel, energy and food waste are so high that there must be a good deal of hypocrisy out there. My view is that this is a problem of plenty and of affluence - where shortage and poverty are greatest waste is highly likely to be smallest, but shortage/poverty is generally not the case now and so wasteful habits and cultures have grown.

I have to say that, though I'm not a fan of big supermarkets, I dont fully buy the argument, common in the media today, that supermarkets are largely to blame for food waste. They are a part of the problem certainly but for me there are waste and efficiency issues all the way along the food chain from soil to plate to soil again and each of us must take some responsibility. Now I'm feel free to put me straight if my attitude is not justified !!

Great tips and advice on cutting food waste, saving money and enjoying food from here:

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