30/08/2010

Great British Waste Menu

Someone with a fairly entrenched hatred of wasting food should not watch this.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00tkr88/Great_British_Waste_Menu/

Programme following four of the nation's top chefs - Angela Hartnett, Richard Corrigan, Matt Tebbutt and Simon Rimmer - as they journey deep into the heart of Britain's food waste problem, exploring how and why the nation throws away and reject huge quantities of perfectly edible food.

I've just sat through it, horrified. The amount of waste from our markets, farms, restaurants and especially supermarkets is scandalous. Vegetables and fruits thrown away just because they are not uniform in appearance. Whole paladins full of bread thrown away just because no-one wants to buy 'stale' bread. A farm that has ploughed 30,000 heads of lettuces back into the soil because the supermarket wouldn't take them, as picky people won't buy them if there's a tiny bit of blemish. Hundreds of strawberries at one producer thrown away because they were too small - or too large. Eggs never even sent to the stores because housewives apparently only want large eggs. Mini eggs? For goodness sake - market them as Child Sized Portions. It's not difficult! I'd buy a carton of mini eggs, how cute? Quail eggs are sought after, and they are tiny. Come ON Britain.

We've become a nation that has no idea what to do with leftovers, or even food that isn't sanitised and packaged beyond all recognition. What's happened to making a big bread pudding out of stale bread. Using up all the veggies from the roast to make bubble and squeak? Pots of vegetable soup, stocks made from leftover bones?

The cooking of offal makes people turn their noses up these days because they don't like the idea of eating it. A strawberry with a soft bit? Oh no, not good enough for us any more.

If you take food from a retail premises' bin, it's stealing. Even though it was being thrown away and discarded. That is utterly pathetic. There should be a freecycle for food. Places like Pret a Manger distribute all their leftover food to the homeless at the end of each day, and bloody grateful they are for it too. Why can't others do the same?

Everyone so scared of litigation and "oooh people might get ill!" It ties in with the whole Screaming Bacteria Fear that's going on.

Somebody get me a cluebat.

Recipes to use up leftovers - Love Food Hate
Waste campaign


6 comments:

Kath Minchin said...

How? How is a strawberry too large? (or too small.)

The only reason to bin food is because it's moldy - and even then it shouldn't be if you stored it properly!

Lisa said...

I just cut the mould off if it isn't too bad.

There are set supermarket guidelines for the size of fruit they will accept, or say that the consumer won't buy. Can you believe it? Some of the nicest strawberries I have had have been teeny ones.

Tales from the Tiny Kitchen said...

Hey Lisa. I also sat open-mouthed when I watched this programme. It's shocking how much food is wasted for no good reason at all. Great post.

Lisa said...

Anne - I was horrified, and also saddened that we have descended to such a stupid level. Husband used to work in a bakery and they would be forced to throw out at least 4 bin bags of perfectly good bread each night.

Oliver Peyton, food critic, can also go swing. He entirely missed the point of the experiment and was ultimately acted like a prissy queen. Hmph.

Tales from the Tiny Kitchen said...

Yeah, potty mouthed Peyton! Loved how Matthew Fort put him in his place saying he wasn't entering into the spirit of the thing...in your face Peyton!
I'm also blogging about this programme - gotta spread the word! A

Lisa said...

Anne - Yay for Mr Fort! I cannot stand Oliver usually, though Jay Rayner can critique me anytime.

*coff*

I had to sadly bin a courgette this afternoon, but there was really nothing I could use. It had been forgotten in the bottom of the fridge and was a bit...okay a LOT smooshy.