I Don’t Want One Of Those

Posted on August 4, 2009

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70% of all food produced is not consumed

It was back in May last year that The Independent ran an article looking at the inordinate amount of perfectly good 41%2BBJ5Q6UML._SL500_AA240_[1]food thrown out each year in the UK.  Since then there have been a number of interesting, and more mainstream, TV programmes about the same subject but it was an editorial extract from Tristram Stuart’s book, ‘Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal’, in the Financial Times magazine on July 3rd this year that really caught my attention.

Until then, I had been well aware of the notion that around a third of food bought from shops ends up in the bin (a fact which, when taken with the extra calories many people in the Western hemisphere consume each day does make you question why we buy so much in the first place and, as a result of wanting so much for so little endorse a system of agriculture and retail that ends up benefitting nobody but the very, very few) but had not been aware of the amount discarded at each stage along the way.

According to Stuart, up to 70% of all food produced is not consumed.

That includes 50% disappearing between plough and plate, 35% of school lunches ending up in the bin and 25% of that which we buy and take home never making it into our bellies – and this, despite the majority of it all still being perfectly edible at the time.

Against this backdrop of waste, I couldn’t quite believe it when a recent update email from iwantoneofthose.com included a gift that is nothing but packaging – literally.  I had seen it before, several years ago.  But in the current economic climate and with the real move towards sustaibility in the mainstream, who really thinks that this is an idea that hasn’t run its course?

I’ll admit, I haven’t yet read ‘Waste’ – given my current rate of purchases from Amazon (1 a day for the last four days) I can’t justify another spree.  But rest assured, when I do take possession of it, I certainly won’t be leaving 70% of it unread.

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