What’s Going On Here?
Over 280,000 tons of food is reported to be wasted by the UK’s ten largest supermarkets every year. This amounts to the equivalent of a whopping 190 million meals.
What’s Does This Mean?
Data for 2019-20 revealed that a substantial amount of edible food produced by Britain’s supermarket giants is either used for anaerobic digestion or to feed animals. Food waste does not just concern the untouched scotch eggs that were scraped into pub bins in December 2020. We’re looking at a substantial mismatch between supply and demand.
Though roughly 24,000 tons were donated to people struggling with food insecurity, it’s estimated that over three times this amount could have been given away to people in need.
The UK government has been criticised by campaigners who argue that there is a lack of transparency regarding supermarket food waste figures as there is currently no independent verification in the reporting process.
This data comes to light in the midst of Food Waste Action Week which began on Monday and aims to mitigate the impact food waste has on the planet through public awareness.
Why Should We Care?
It’s estimated that over 30% of edible food is wasted globally. This results in an incredible waste of resources, be it the land, fertilisers, water or energy that’s also wasted.
With the pandemic exacerbating already rising numbers of people in food poverty, this also raises questions as to why there is not more of a focus on redistributing more of this leftover food to feed those who need it.
Going further than this, incentivising food waste reduction is important in tackling the climate crisis. If food waste were considered to be a country, it would take the bronze medal with the third largest carbon footprint behind the USA and China!
???? See how your local supermarket weighed up and write to them to demand that they do better.
???? Check out these tips to do your bit at home.
???? Save delicious restaurant and retail food from the bins with apps like Too Good To Go and Karma.
???? Get odd and surplus fruit and veg delivered to your door with Oddbox, and if you live in North London, try out Vegbox.