By CPCAG member Eileen Peck
BBC Radio 4’s Positive Thinking recently looked at how much food waste contributes to climate change and I was pretty amazed at what I learned:
• Worldwide almost a third of food produced for human consumption goes to waste
• In the UK almost 10m tons of food are binned every year including around 50m chickens, 100m pints of milk and 800,000 apples
• Global food waste contributes almost 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions – the third worst in global emissions.
Several enterprising people discussed their ideas for dealing with the problem but the item which really grabbed my attention was the ‘use by’ and ‘best buy’labelling of food, a subject often the subject of discussion in my household. Don’t we all occasionally open the fridge, notice an item is past the ‘use by’ date and ponder whether we shouldthrow it away?
But, a man still healthy and living to tell the tale had eaten peanut butter 7 years(!) after date (it didn’t taste wonderful but didn’t make him sick) and even someone who claims he was unharmed by tinned salmon well past its date.
An expert claimed – as I’d long suspected! – that we could all help reduce food waste by looking and smelling to decide whether food is ‘off’.
The ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ labelling requirement was introduced under the Food Safety Act of 1990 and has surely led to an increase in food waste. Perhaps the legislation needs to be revisited by government now it has declared a climate emergency?
Lots of interesting ideas about food waste on –