This week we might actually be on track to meeting the ‘traditional’ three posts a week quota. Not only that, this one is a waste post – haven’t seen one of them around these parts for a while. Don’t get too excited though, it is mid-sem break after all. Can’t guarantee that all this efficiency will last. We can hope though, we can hope.
It really is quite despicable that there haven’t been more waste posts over the last eight weeks. This lax behaviour would be marginally more justifiable if I had been studying entirely non food-related subjects. That, however, is not the case. In fact two of my four subjects largely revolve around food security and/or food waste. They address these issues on a number of different platforms, many of which I could discuss in these posts. Truth be told I have more than enough content to last a solid year or two of ‘Waste Wednesdays’. The only issue is actually getting around to writing such posts. Hopefully this break will signify a change, or at least stimulate some better organisation. Time management that incorporates ‘that blog fandangle’. Unfortunately this ain’t a full-blown waste related post. In an ideal world it would be. Buuuutttt that’s not going to happen today. We’re going to need to ease back into things. With a video. That’s not too much of a cop out is it?
We were instructed to view this Ted Talk by Tristam Stuart in our ‘Famine: The Geography of Scarcity’ module. I’ll provide you with a few key points below, but please do honestly try to find fifteen minutes to watch it (does it help if I say he’s got a British accent?). It’ll blow your mind. Might make you despise yourself for a bit. Curse Western consumerism. A lot. Make you want to go live as a hermit in the Siberian wilderness. More than anything else, I hope it makes you just stop. Consider the current state of food waste. Perhaps even be inspired to pass the message on – if you have Facebook, be daring, be bold and post the video as a status. Someone else may watch it. That’s one more person who is more aware of the atrocious waste that occurs. Every single day. Yes, it can be disheartening but when you’re sorely tempted to run away and pretend it’s not true, not happening, the best thing to do is strive for change. It’s corny as all get out, but the only way things’ll change is if we initiate it. If you want to see proof of successful large-scale group efforts, check out Feeding the Five Thousand – a movement dedicated to promoting and initiating global solutions to food waste. Inspiring to say the least.
Oh yes, let’s not get too carried away…here are some of the key points:
– Almost 50% of food in Western nations is discarded because it’s not pretty (i.e. not aesthetically pleasing). We really are quite fascinated with ‘good looks’ aren’t we?
– America has double the amount of food in restaurants and supermarkets than what is required to sufficiently feed the it’s population. Just think of what happens to the excess.
– 1/9th of food is lost before it even leaves the field. Again, this goes back to our irrational fascination with ‘pretty’.
– 40 – 60% of British fish is lost at sea before it even reaches the land. Why?
– A large proportion of the food we could be eating is fed to livestock. Is this truly an efficient use of our food resources?
– You know the ends of bread loaves (i.e. the crusts)? Consider how many are discarded at sandwich bars across the globe. Because who’s going to buy a sandwich with one end (or both) that is crust? Are they not perfectly edible?
– Offal consumption has halved in Britain in recent years – most is now incinerated. See more about the merits of eating offal here. It’s good for you. Honest.
We don’t all need to become unofficial supermarket bin inspectors like Tristam (though by all means do, if it tickles your fancy), however it’s crucial that we do consider – and promote – where and when food waste is occurring. The current situation is neither sustainable nor equitable. Food for thought, is it not?