Friday, November 03, 2006

What a waste of good food!

I was at an event yesterday which had a workshop on domestic waste minimisation. This has always been a tough nut to crack as the amount we bin has been rising at about 3% every year on average. We came to the conclusion that food waste was the key area as most domestic waste is either food or food-related packaging. Every calorie of food we eat requires 10 calories of oil to get it onto our plate, so there's a massive global warming implication here too.

The group came up with the following suggestions:

i. Don't take up BOGOFs (Buy One Get One Free) on perishable goods as you'll normally end up with more than you can manage (good weighwatching advice too - you might feel you just have to force that second package of profiteroles down).

ii. Go for 'little and often' when buying perishable food rather than the monthly/fortnightly trip to the supermarket. This also encourages you to use local shops whose food-miles are less.

iii. Be less squeamish about sell-by dates. They tend to be chosen arbitrarily rather than by any evidence, so use your eyes and nose instead.

iv. People who buy bottled water should be shot (from the militant wing of the group).

v. If you live alone or in a pair then use the freezer to extend the life of bread and milk if you don't think you'll use it. Our toaster is great at toasting frozen bread, so chiselling off a slice or two sometimes suits us if, say, we're about to head off for the weekend and have run out.

If you have any other suggestions, then please post them in the comments.


At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Kaz said...

All good ideas, especially on the sell-by-dates but was wondering about the toasting frozen bread, what about the extra leccy used to heat it up rather than defrosting naturally?

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Gareth Kane said...

I'm going to have to do an experiment now aren't I...

At 10:48 AM, Blogger loopcomms said...

Good article Gareth. On of the bits of research that sticks in my mind was from the Guardian newspaper - it found the cumulative distance travelled by 20 items in a basket of fresh food, including peas and lettuce, was 100,043 miles … or put another way half the distance to the moon!


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