Two years ago, the UK binned £13 billion worth of food that could have been consumed. Alarming indeed when we still live in a world where populations are going hungry; South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen were cited as examples in the United Nation’s first formal declaration of famine since 2011 (on 4 April 2017)
What’s fuelling this attitude and behaviour towards disposal?
We see the Millennial generation has taken to ‘tweeting before eating’ stimulating the concept of ‘live to eat’, in stark contrast to the generation above us who took an ‘eat to live’ stance, influenced by their parents’ post-war mentality.
#foodporn and #foodstagram are two hashtags which showcase the plethora of food photographs floating about in the social cloud. People are buying ingredients to create new recipes, emulating their favourite foodies, heading out at every opportunity they get to try out the latest street food offering, disregarding last night’s leftovers in the fridge.
How can we consciously cut down on food waste while maintaining this way of life?
Launched almost a year ago, Too Good To Go, this clever app is redistributing the tonnes of food thrown away by UK restaurants annually. The sustainable takeaway platform lists left-over meals from cafes and restaurants at a reduced price. Users select their meal, pay through the app and collect their takeaway.
Last year, the UK’s first food waste supermarket opened near Leeds. Brought to the community by ‘pay as you feel’ campaigners the Real Junk Food Project, the ‘warehouse’ store stocks food thrown out by supermarkets. Its mission is to help families struggling to feed their children.
Organisations are trying to combat the mountainous waste issue, but barely making a dent in the problem. There has been public pressure on the ‘big four’ supermarkets to take a lead in changing attitude.
Jamie Oliver helped pave the way for healthy school lunches. His campaign led to a change of attitude.
Do we need a ‘voice’ to promote change, a celebrity advocate to champion ‘no food waste’? Could they build awareness of the nation’s consumption habits, educate the public on how to make the most of their purchases, save money and make the world a little bit greener at the same time? So…..who’s up for the challenge?
by Lakshmi Narayan
P.S. see some of our favourite articles on this issue: