Jane’s War on Waste!

Has anybody seen Hugh’s War on Waste on BBC1 at all? I watched the first one on catch up over the weekend and I heartily applaud what he is doing. 

Seeing a parsnip farmer going out of business because the supermarket they supply to will only accept parsnips of equal size and shape was painful and frustrating. This means tons of perfectly good fresh produce is being thrown away because the supermarkets insist that we, as their customers, will only accept perfect looking vegetables free of blemishes. The sad thing is I think this may be true for many people. Unless we grow our own produce we have been conditioned to think that misshapen veg is odd, when actually it is quite normal.

I was not surprised to see the amount of food that some of the households featured threw away each week. In the UK this averages £15 a week! That’s almost £800 a year -a holiday perhaps or at least a small pay rise. Our grandmothers would have had a fit – in the war it actually was illegal to waste food. It was a scarce and precious resource. They used every scrap and stretched every morsel and we were all the healthier for it.
  I don’t waste as much as the average person but have been known to forget the half a pot of hummus lurking at the back of the fridge, to chuck the last bits of the salad bag because they are looking a bit the worse for wear, to let the cereal go stale and to leave dry goods such as sugar and flour too long before I use them up.

Inspired by Hugh, this weekend I made sure we started to use some bits up. I made a banana cake with some rather brown bananas and some flour near its end date (not that I take much notice of that with dry goods), I made everyone have salad in their sandwiches at lunchtime, I made soup from the leftover cooked veg that I have been collecting in the freezer, I forced the last of a bottle of red wine down Mr S’s neck (surprisingly easy that one) and I made a large batch of apple purée from the windfalls that have been hanging around for a few weeks. 

I still have the Halloween pumpkin to use in some way but there is no rush since we went out and never actually got the chance to carve it! That will probably go for soup too as I love it and it’s good for work lunches.

It makes me mad when food is wasted, but if makes me madder if the person wasting it is me!

13 thoughts on “Jane’s War on Waste!

  1. I wish I could say I’ve seen Hugh’s newest shows but they aren’t aired here in Australia just yet. The waste is ridiculous. I hope the series can help even just a little to educate people about what goes on and ways to do better.

  2. I have watched both episodes. Felt completely disgusted with Morrison’s. They were just as bad and condescending in the second episode (last night so she be on iplayer today). The second episode just about had be ready to skip dive but it is technically illegal. Already started looking at possibly restarting veg boxes but my experience has been mixed and they are not cheap.

    • You’re right about Morrisons. They came out very badly. I reckon buying from the market is the best bet as they presumably get the second grade stuff the supermarkets reject. It was sickening to see the programme the same night that the famine in Ethiopia was featured in the news. Shame!!

      • I keep repeating “why not donate to save the children” through the show. Just horrifying that so many people starve when enough food is grown to feed everyone on earth. We just throw it away.

  3. I have watched both episodes. Felt completely disgusted with Morrison’s. They were just as bad and condescending in the second episode (last night so she be on iplayer today). The second episode just about had be ready to skip dive but it is technically illegal. Already started looking at possibly restarting veg boxes but my experience has been mixed and they are not cheap.

  4. I think there needs to be more education about best before dates!! It seems to be a common theme that people think anything even approaching it, needs to be binned!
    They are guidelines, and usually very generous ones at that!

    I just finished up some rocket which was BB 26th Oct (only needing to pick out a couple of slimy leaves! 😀 ) and regularly eat things up to 2 weeks past their BB date! But people just don’t seem to be getting the message.

    And those clothes that were being thrown out!!!! 😮 Is it just laziness that they can’t take them to a charity shop?
    The bit about fashion You Tubers was a real eye opener. I had no idea this whole culture was influencing people so much! You hear of people like this who make a living from their You Tube channel, and now I can see why – especially if they get big companies to pay them! Advertising just became even more subtle and insidious! :/

  5. I think there needs to be more education about best before dates!! It seems to be a common theme that people think anything even approaching it, needs to be binned!
    They are guidelines, and usually very generous ones at that!

    I just finished up some rocket which was BB 26th Oct (only needing to pick out a couple of slimy leaves! 😀 ) and regularly eat things up to 2 weeks past their BB date! But people just don’t seem to be getting the message.

    And those clothes that were being thrown out!!!! 😮 Is it just laziness that they can’t take them to a charity shop?
    The bit about fashion You Tubers was a real eye opener. I had no idea this whole culture was influencing people so much! You hear of people like this who make a living from their You Tube channel, and now I can see why – especially if they get big companies to pay them! Advertising just became even more subtle and insidious! :/

  6. I only saw the second one. I thought it was good the way they were getting one street to recycle more but the trick I felt they missed was the amount of packaging that is used when selling fruits and veg in supermarkets – e.g. lots or plastic – which you generally don’t get when you shop in the market. I felt it would be helpful if they got across the message of avoiding it in the first place. Really shocked by how much food is thrown away by all the supermarkets. Let’s hope they feel the pressure to donate more.

  7. I only saw the second one. I thought it was good the way they were getting one street to recycle more but the trick I felt they missed was the amount of packaging that is used when selling fruits and veg in supermarkets – e.g. lots or plastic – which you generally don’t get when you shop in the market. I felt it would be helpful if they got across the message of avoiding it in the first place. Really shocked by how much food is thrown away by all the supermarkets. Let’s hope they feel the pressure to donate more.

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