28 comments on “\’Choice\’ is not to be applauded when it contributes to the waste of food

  1. Did you have a previous article on that report? As I recall it the “waste food” includes stuff such as banana skins, chicken bones, apple cores etc. When you look at eatable food waste, its only a tenth of the headline figure, so less than a quid a week. Which doesn’t seem that unreasonable.

  2. There was a discussion on this at the end of Today on Radio 4. It was the usual nonsense that we don’t price things correctly to reflect their true value, and we’d all be better off if food was more expensive. Expect these dickheads to try and do exactly that.

  3. What irks me is the patronising tone. She can walk into a supermarket and buy just what she needs, uninfluenced by the marketing, while you poor reader, are a dupe and need to be shielded from their machinations.

    Supermarkets sell ‘perfect’ fruit and veg because the warty stuff gets left by their customers who, given a choice, prefer to pick up the nice stuff.

    So, they either only stock ‘perfect’ or have to find the space for two of everything so that they can sell the ‘rejects’ at a lower price…

    Supermarkets are led by customer choice, and if there’s sufficient demand for warty, they’ll stock it.

  4. we’d all be better off if food was more expensive.

    It’s the usual ballocks. I now disregard any argument that begins “we should pay more for…” and make a mental note to ignore anything the author says on any other topic.

  5. “we are throwing away half the food sold to us by supermarkets”

    This isn’t even what they said, regardless of wether what they said is bollocks or not. Anyone with half a brain or not a fanatic will realise after a moment’s thought that people throwing away HALF of the food they buy at the supermarket is fucking ridiculous, a total nonsense, or a lie as I prefer to call it.

  6. There is nothing wrong with the sentiment. People have the choice to have unprotected sex in unstable relationships but I’m not going to applaud them for it. People choose to wear ugg boots but I am not going to admire them. Richard Murphy has the choice to write about taxation but you aren’t exactly going to cheer him on as he does so. Even when we agree that people have the right to make decisions for themselves it does not mean we cannot disapprove of them.

  7. “Did you have a previous article on that report? As I recall it the “waste food” includes stuff such as banana skins, chicken bones, apple cores etc. “

    Yes, he did, and yes, no matter how many people point this out in comments to these articles, they still get rolled out in the MSM unquestioningly.

    Churnalism rules!

  8. “Even when we agree that people have the right to make decisions for themselves it does not mean we cannot disapprove of them.”

    Oh, well, when it’s disapproval of the way teenage girls dress and behave, that’s ‘slutshaming’ and the Left think you definitely shouldn’t disapprove of them!

  9. “But our four, highly competitive major retailers who service more than 80 per cent of the population have one main concern: their profits.”

    Well, duh!

    “Do they care that half the food they sell is going in the bin? There is little evidence of that.”

    It certainly wouldn’t bother me.

    She doesn’t really explain what the problem is. The wasted food would not find its way to the starving. The only real problem seems to be the money spent buying it. I’m prepared to pay a certain amount to have excess food in the house. If we tried to only just buy enough all the time, we’d be forever jumping in the car to nip down the corner shop for things we’d run out of.

  10. shopping for food frustrates efforts to be careful. Consumers do not demand a pack of six sticky buns, and certainly not the “Bogof” deal that means that they get 12 for the same sum. We all buy too many grapes, for instance, not realising how quickly they deteriorate – or those bumper packs of chicken joints, using only half because the “best before” date comes too quickly.

    Blimey. Don’t buy six sticky buns if you aren’t going to use them. Or buy them and freeze what you aren’t going to immediately use. Don’t buy too many grapes. Don’t buy a bumper pack of chicken joints, or buy them and freeze what you aren’t going to immediately use.

    We wasted far less food when there was no supermarket culture, when what we bought was the food we needed – as opposed to what is now skilfully marketed to us.

    Before supermarkets we were poor / food was more expensive, so nothing could go to waste. Sunday roast leftovers thrown in a pot for another meal (bubble and squeak, or stovies), the joint or chicken carcass boiled for stock – nowadays people just bin it. There is probably a ‘law’ about utility, or something.

    Now we are rich / food is less expensive, and we’d rather have something other than day old leftovers mixed together and slowly heated through.

    Take one look at the breakfast cereal aisle – like Victoria Falls, you can barely see the end of it. How many are tried, rejected and go stale at the back of the cupboard?

    I think cereals last for about a year if unopened.

    The implication that the retailers are casting pearls before swine is unpleasant and wrong – in this instance we know who is greedy, and it is not shoppers.

    Shoppers are wholly innocent and don’t want the best deal they can possibly get, oh no.

  11. “Do they care that half the food they sell is going in the bin?”

    Many years ago when I was a little hippie, my crusty mates lived off that stuff

  12. Oh, well, when it’s disapproval of the way teenage girls dress and behave, that’s ‘slutshaming’ and the Left think you definitely shouldn’t disapprove of them!

    Julia, my name is Ben, not “the Left”, and I absolutely do disapprove of the manner in which many teenage girls and boys behave.

  13. Out of interest, why do we sell packets of sticky buns in sixes in the first place? Is it for the same reason as eggs (whatever that is)? Is it because 2.5 children + 2 adults is 4.5, so 4 buns would mean someone in the ‘average family’ goes without, 5 buns is odd so it’s no good for baking and packing, so we end up at 6?

  14. UKLiberty: “…and we’d rather have something other than day old leftovers mixed together and slowly heated through.”

    Hey! I’ll have you know that some of the best dishes are ‘leftovers’! At least, in my house.

  15. @ UKL #13 – it’s as good an explanation as any other. Also, I think that things pack more efficiently in rectangles, for some reason (perhaps because lorry containers are rectangles. Tho’ that could be rubbish).

    Or is it some throwback to imperial measurement? (dozens, half dozens &c). It seems (without anything more than anecdotal evidence) that brits like to buy things in imperial measures given the option.

    I don’t know why we sell eggs in sixes, though. I buy them in packs of about fifteen. Six eggs wouldn’t last a week in my house and there are only two of us.

  16. @BenSix – yes, it wasn’t aimed at you, just riffing on your comment.

    Fair ’nuff.

    I think buns, like beers, are sold in packs of six so people can make jokes at the expense of out of season bodybuilders.

  17. We could reduce waste by having State canteens for everyone to eat in.

    The carbon footprint of mass cooking would be much lower than everyone doing it separately.

    It would be much more healthy, and so reduce the cost to the NHS of unhealthy lifestyles.

    It would reduce divisive differentials of some people having better food than others.

    And it would encourage community spirit and make us all happier.

    What’s not to like?

  18. I suspect that the six packs are a remnant of our duodecimal past and halves thereof were a natural sub division. Not sure about the ease of loading lorries with rectangular packages, I’ve actually done that and it’s a lot more tricky than it looks, you end up with all sorts of odd shaped corners to fill. Containerisation and standardised packaging has largely taken care of that anyway.

  19. The single thought that runs through my mind when indignated and clueless journalists breathlessly regurgitate that statistic over the last few days is “I’d rather have too much food than too little.”

    And considering that they include crap like apple cores as wasted food, which I didn’t know about until reading this thread, my position is even more entrenched. I despise journalism.

  20. With 3 adults in the house we can go through considerable food. Occasionally have to throw something out – planning for meals goes all right, plans sometimes cannot be kept to. Probably as much as £3 worth of food chucked out in a week at worst, other weeks nothing chucked out.
    Eggs we buy by the half dozen, last around 6 months. Something called a fridge.

    Cereal, grapes, buns, none last long enough to go off in our house. Perhaps 0% – 3% of edible food wasted in our house.

  21. I find it strange that, in a broadly socialist era, the ideas that carry the main weight are broadly feudal.

    Rose Prince, if not now, then in an earlier age, would have made sure the servants ate the slops.

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