Food going to landfill?

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Food going to landfill?

Postby TeresaFoodie » October 9th, 2018, 11:43 pm

I'm not sure if this has already been discussed...

Tonight I went over to my Co-op to use their pay point to pay my bills. I noticed all RTC shelves were empty. As I finished by business at the till I walked past a HUGE pile of thick plastic sacks marked something like 'Unfit for human consumption'. I could see pizzas and other bread items in there, easily freezable. There were packs of ham in there. I couldn't see what else as I was dashing back home to finish watching GBBO! But I hopped onto their website to see if they have any available info on the subject of food waste for consumers. I was quite nicely surprised.

https://food.coop.co.uk/food-ethics/env ... food-waste

I got to thinking, how else can we stop food from being wasted when (see Food Bank donations thread) we have people out there hungry with no money (for whatever reason) to buy food? I was about to draft up an email to Co-op, but wondered if I could ask for your thoughts first please?

I have got the RTC thing down to a fine art since living here, but if you haven't the opportunity to gather RTC items, on low income, life where food is concerned is pretty tough. Breaks my heart to know all those pizzas will be collected in a Biffa lorry first thing.

I am thinking along the lines of, people happy to offer up freezer space could store food items for those needing something nice to eat later on. Like a membership scheme.

Thoughts appreciated on this food waste dilemma! :tu:
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Re: Food going to landfill?

Postby earthmaiden » October 10th, 2018, 8:14 am

:hug: We have discussed it a bit before under the titles 'shops and food waste' and 'best before dates' especially (no idea how to attach a link using phone but you can search!). It's an on going dilemma. Sell by dates are there for a reason and shops don't want to risk ignoring them. I think in areas where there are enough volunteers to collect food there are some good schemes going between charities (such as women's aid or homeless) and supermarkets but food banks can only deal with non-perishables. There's a great scheme in Brighton and some other places where they sell meals in a cafe from food which would otherwise be wasted (but it cannit be out of sell by date) and people pay what they can afford and no-one is turned away. Takes a lot of volunteers though! There was a book a few years ago by a man who lived without money for a year which was interesting. They raided shop bins at night - some shops turned a blind eye.

I am always interested in the RTC section that goods are often those loosely termed as 'deli'. i.e. tasty processed goods, not always very nice, full of calories and not very nutritious and often still quite expensive when marked down. There's a message there!
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Re: Food going to landfill?

Postby Suelle » October 10th, 2018, 8:32 am

It's a complex issue. One problem is that any solution for using perishable refrigerated food relies on a large number of volunteers working every day, and having a suitable outlet. Systems for distributing, or otherwise using, fresh food also only work efficiently in areas of relatively dense population, where the numbers requiring help make the work needed viable. No charity could afford regular fresh food deliveries to rural areas, or even in small towns.

Our Food Bank does take a certain amount of perishable food direct from supermarkets, but it can't be food that needs refrigeration, so it's mostly bread, fruit and vegetables.

It also sends short-dated, and slightly out of date food to the local hostel, to reduce what inevitably has to be thrown away, particularly at this time of year when people clear out their cupboards for Harvest Festivals. We also get quite a lot of fresh fruit juice donated, which has to be thrown away because we don't know how long it has been out of the fridge by the time we get it.
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Re: Food going to landfill?

Postby suffolk » October 10th, 2018, 9:01 am

It is not possible to avoid food surpluses ... but we can avoid sending it to landfill ... any surplus that cannot be used as food should be sent to be anaerobically digested to produce both fuel and fertiliser ... thus avoiding waste and pollution.

http://www.biogen.co.uk/

We should all be lobbying supermarket and local authorities to do this.
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Re: Food going to landfill?

Postby TeresaFoodie » October 10th, 2018, 10:03 am

An article on the subject with Alice Beer on Good Morning right now...
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Re: Food going to landfill?

Postby Suelle » October 10th, 2018, 10:05 am

suffolk wrote:It is not possible to avoid food surpluses ... but we can avoid sending it to landfill ... any surplus that cannot be used as food should be sent to be anaerobically digested to produce both fuel and fertiliser ... thus avoiding waste and pollution.

http://www.biogen.co.uk/

We should all be lobbying supermarket and local authorities to do this.


Hear, hear!
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Re: Food going to landfill?

Postby earthmaiden » October 10th, 2018, 12:46 pm

I agree Suffs. Our local authority is thinking of sending all the plastic waste to our incinerator as well to turn into fuel. My slight issue with thinking, 'it's ok, it will go to the incinerator and make feed or fuel', is that people will go on wasting food, plastic or whatever commodity it is rather than re-education taking place. I think we need creative ways to overcome the apathy at all levels.
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Re: Food going to landfill?

Postby Zosherooney » October 15th, 2018, 6:16 am

This is a subject close to my heart..... I hate waste and Mr. Z sometimes comes home with a haul which we go through immediately and sort into categories I distribute to local neighbours pointing out the dates and making sure they understand where it came from. We keep the best for ourselves and are currently eating sushi, gourmet deli salads with profiteroles for sweet ! I have in the past calculated the cost and has been anything from £30 to £80.

I have found over the years that a lot of S'markets are now recycling and I am pleased that they are. Less for us but glad to see it being made use of. However, there is still too much waste.

I was amused when I watched the Charles Manson programme recently to see that his 'cult' (back in the 60's) were obtaining F&V from skips in California.... :tu:
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Re: Food going to landfill?

Postby TeresaFoodie » October 20th, 2018, 9:39 am

I thought I would update to tell you all that I was invited to a meeting this week where there was a speaker from a local food bank. We were hearing that the biggest percentage of food bank users are people not on benefits, but people who were employed on a zero hour contract. We also heard about the effort and funding required to run any food bank and, it's not until you think about it, the space needed to store the food at the distribution centres. Our local centre premises agreement expires soon, and they are as priority trying to find alternative and affordable premises to run it from. It is a massive operation really from start to finish involving many volunteers. A real eye opener!
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Re: Food going to landfill?

Postby scullion » October 20th, 2018, 9:49 am

TeresaFoodie wrote: the biggest percentage of food bank users are people not on benefits, but people who were employed on a zero hour contract.

hardly surprising - a zero hours contract takes you into the employed sector and away from the safety net of benefits but with no guarantee of work in a week.
as a lot of zero hours contracts are in the minimum hourly rate category, too, it takes quite a few hours to make up a living wage for a family.
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Re: Food going to landfill?

Postby suffolk » October 20th, 2018, 10:18 am

Someone I know was on a zero hours contract .... he was thrilled ... he thought he'd got a job ... he phoned in every day to see if there was work for him ... after 8 weeks of having been given No Work At All he went and signed on as unemployed again ... and was told that he'd made himself intentionally jobless so wasn't entitled to benefits :rolleyes: :twisted:
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Re: Food going to landfill?

Postby TeresaFoodie » October 20th, 2018, 10:18 am

The worrying thing is, most jobs advertised in my experience here are either zero hour, 15 hours which would not close your JSA claim, 20 hours which would, or temporary/seasonal. I nearly fell on the floor this morning when I saw only the second full time finance role with an annual salary that I have seen in the seven months I've lived here. Of course I have applied but I won't be holding my breath.
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Re: Food going to landfill?

Postby Zosherooney » October 27th, 2018, 9:28 pm

I am so very grateful not to have to be in that situation ever again..... soul destroying.....and demoralising :(
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