*****Is going there and back to see how far it is.*****

Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.

I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!

Life on the cut through my eyes.

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Thursday, 17 May 2012

Throw away society.

We have all seen it and even done it.

What you ask?

Throw things away, which could actually be reused or given to someone else to use. Today I read an online article in The Guardian, that UK families throw away around £270 worth of food a year. That is ridiculous in my opinion. What ever happened to using every scrap of food you buy? We have become a throw away society and it is not just with food. Moving around on the boat, the amount of stuff I see thrown either into the canal or in the hedgerows is a crime. As you know I feel passionate about picking up litter, but the litter these days is not just sweetie wrappers and coke cans, it is everything from plastic chairs to dustbins liners full of waste food and their wrappers. We have even picked up mops and brooms, all of which we reuse. When it comes to throwing away food though that is a crime, when you consider the countries who struggle to feed their families. Even in this country we have families who are going to centres for food parcels, because they cannot afford to feed their families.

The piece in the Guardian says that the most thrown out foods are Vegetables, followed by Bread and Fruit and I ask the question WHY?

To many people pay to much attention to the sell by and use by dates. I on the other hand do not. I have used food which has been as much as a week out of date and it has done me or the other half any harm. I was not around in the war years, but in those days they used up every scrap of food, because it was rationed. These days we do not know how lucky we are.

Vegetables on the turn can be used for soups and in casseroles. Bread if dry can be used in bread puddings or bread and butter puddings etc. There is no excuse to throw food away. I like most people will have seen people in the supermarket especially around Christmas and Easter time, filling their trolleys to the brim as if they are stock piling food for a crisis, what on earth do they need to do it for, when most of that food will probably end up in the bin.

On a slightly different tack, the supermarkets are no better, I have seen first hand the amount of food they throw away each and every day and it find it appalling. I know some supermarkets give a percentage to homeless charities and elderly peoples homes, but even so they are contributing to the waste of food in this country. One Christmas I was working for a top supermarket and at the end of Christmas Eve, the staff were allowed to fill a basket with food and we each paid £5 for that basket of food, the rest from the fridges and freezers went into the skips. I was completely horrified. This included Turkeys that customers had paid a deposit on, but had not collected. So whilst we as the consumer needs to do more to cut down on our food waste, the supermarkets also need to do the same and whilst on the subject of supermarkets and waste, they also need to do more to cut down on their packaging.

Ok that is me off my soap box for the day.


  1. Jo, you wouldn't believe the half of it. Between 2002 and 2005, I was a loss prevention manager for a well known supermarket chain (No.2 in the UK). Part of my role was to oversee the disposal of foodstuff that could no longer be offered for sale due to its date code. I witnessed stupid waste verging on the obscene, such as bin loads of potatoes, in perfect condition, that had simply passed their best before date. This was also the same with fruit and vegetables, which in some cases were binned in volume, and they were not yet even ripe! What the public must start to grasp is the difference in codes. Sell by and use by are attached to perishables which could cause health issues if eaten in poor condition, eg meat, fish, yoghurt etc. Best before dates are simply a condition indicator and are applied to non-perishables such as fruit and veg, chocolate, etc., which would do the consumer no harm if consumed in poor condition. Many of the best before dates that are applied to supermarket goods are totally unrealistic, and food would be perfectly ok to eat weeks, if not months after the date. Common sense is the name of the game, but we seem to rely too much on being told what is good/not good for us.

  2. Hi Peter and Margaret.
    I can totally believe all of what you have written and I could not agree with you more. Common sense is a distant memory and the problem is it will only get worse. Thank you for your reply xx


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