Kelvinwright's Blog

postmodern thoughts

Food waste not, want not

food_waste_40percent      Disgusted! That’s how I would describe my feelings when I see the quantity of food thrown way in bins each and every night. Repulsed, is how I would describe the sensation when I hear, “we’ll buy another packet, just in case.” only to throw the food away when actually they didn’t need it. Poor planning.


As I finished by my dinner this evening, a home-made carrot soup and a steak in another home-made mushroom sauce, I came across an article on food waste. According to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, human beings produce about four billion metric tonnes of food each year. However, due to poor practices in harvesting, poor storage and transportation, as well as wastage in the market place caused in part by strict sell-by dates, and both consumer and supermarket fussiness, and consumer bulk buys and wastage, it is estimated that between 30% and up to 50% (or as much as 2 billion tonnes) of all food produced never reaches a human stomach – it is thrown away.


Whether the figure is 30% or 50%, it is shocking to realise that such vast and abusive quantities of food are thrown away when so many people in the world die of starvation. We are meant to be a more conscientious civilisation now; we are meant to be better informed than previous generations. Perhaps we could choose to buy only what we need – go into the supermarket with a shopping list and ignore the tempting bulk-buy offers. Perhaps we could buy the packet of tea that has the box damaged, to prevent it being thrown away (after all, you drink the tea, not the box). Maybe we could buy the dented tin – we eat the contents, not the tin, so who cares if the packaging isn’t perfect?


*image from:


February 5, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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