Hugh's War on Waste

edited 4 March 2016 at 11:32AM in Old Style MoneySaving
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  • Former_MSE_AndreaFormer_MSE_Andrea Former MSE
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    Happy Friday everyone!

    I went to a great Food waste talk at the Impact Hub Kings Cross with (former) MSE Wendy last night.

    The speakers, including Richard Swannell, director of sustainable food systems at WRAP, and David Evans from Manchester Uni were extremely passionate about the cause as was everyone there.

    They brought out some amazing stats and food for thought. Some of which I already knew but that it was great to hear from other sources, some I didn't.

    These included if food waste was a country it would be the size of China and the third largest in the world.

    David Evans asked a really thought-provoking point... should we have homes without kitchens?!

    His point being, that if, in a utopia, all companies had a subsidised canteen providing healthy food, we'd just eat a simple meal in the evening and not have to cook and therefore not create food waste!

    You can see some of the points made on the #foodtalks twitter hashtag if you use it.
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  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
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    MSE_Andrea wrote: »
    David Evans asked a really thought-provoking point... should we have homes without kitchens?!

    His point being, that if, in a utopia, all companies had a subsidised canteen providing healthy food, we'd just eat a simple meal in the evening and not have to cook and therefore not create food waste!
    And what does David expect the stay-at-home parents, unemployed & retired people do for food?

    Not a very well thought out point, imho.
  • Former_MSE_AndreaFormer_MSE_Andrea Former MSE
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    Ha, it was one of those "you had to be there" things.

    It was a deliberate provocation - a statement to make us think. He went on to explain it was a utopia - that would likely never happen here, it's just not practical. You'd need to have all businesses have canteens for a start and, yes, it doesn't take account of people who don't work, which is what Wendy and I said at the time.

    He did say it's happening in other countries though eg Germany.
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  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
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    MSE_Andrea wrote: »
    He did say it's happening in other countries though eg Germany.
    OK.
    So what does Germany do about:
    Pollycat wrote: »
    the stay-at-home parents, unemployed & retired people do for food?
    ????
  • edited 11 March 2016 at 10:07PM
    kboss2010kboss2010 Forumite
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    edited 11 March 2016 at 10:07PM
    It is a cheap and probably delicious meal, but my point was that for those living on the poverty line with only a pound a day for food (apparently lots of people) they would have an awful lot of calories to make up with the remaining five pence! :eek:



    I read somewhere that lower income children tend to have too little protein? Is this correct?
    I am surprised at how little protein is in a lot of ready meals, with only a teaspoon of meat, sometimes.



    The programmes can often be condescending, and give the impression that poor people can afford to eat well if only they weren't too stupid or lazy.

    For those of us old enough to have had home economics lessons at school, and the time to learn to shop and cook wisely when we had families, it is very easy.

    For those who have never been taught, and have to work, and have little time to prepare decent food it is much more difficult, and poverty makes it harder still.

    I think you have hit the nail on the head. People just don't learn how to cook anymore. And I say this as a 28 year old who had to teach myself to cook just before I moved to uni because I didn't want to continue living on ready meals, takeaways and Supernoodles as I had during my teenage years.

    I had a single mum who worked full-time long hours and who also had renal failure, she basically worked and slept and had neither the time nor the energy to cook. She did the best she could but cooking was at the bottom of her list of priorities due to being absolutely exhausted all of the time.

    And it's about taste too. If all you've ever eaten is convenience food, when you start cooking for yourself everything is tasteless and bland because it's not full of salt and sugar and MSG. We now have several generations of children raised on microwave meals, pot noodle and sunny D.

    Remember when they marketed that stuff to parents as being healthy in the 90's when it actually contained more sugar than coke and turned children orange?? The same thing is still happening with carp like fruit roll ups and all of these "made from organic, real whatever" processed junk they're telling parents to buy for their kids. I'm sorry but how is a stringy plastic-like bit of red stuff made from real strawberry juice any better than those red laces I used to buy from the ice cream van? It makes my blood boil that these companies are STILL getting away with advertising this stuff as one of your 5 a day. It's absolute b*****ks!

    And I say that as one of the kids who ate that rubbish!!

    It's hard to convince people that home cooked food is better than takeaways because, to most people, takeaways taste better. And the science backs it up. We're hard-wired to crave calorific foods over healthy stuff. The challenge is making a population of struggling, hard-working poor people who are stressed, exhausted, don't exercise and feel like crap choose healthy food over their few food "treats" like a chocolate bar, a takeaway or a can of coke.

    Cheap, sugary food is addictive. It's like telling a smoker to stop smoking because it's bad for them. They know. They just know that stopping smoking will make them feel worse in the short term and life is hard enough so why take away your one pleasure? And you can't know how much a drastic change in diet will eventually make you feel better, it's hard to imagine it will make that much difference so it doesn't seem worth the effort and self-denial.
    "I want to be a glow worm, A glow worm's never glum
    'Coz how can you be grumpy, when the sun shines out your bum?" :D ~ Dr A. Tapping


    I'm finding my way back to sanity again... but I don't really know what I'm gonna do when I get there :p
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  • edited 11 March 2016 at 11:03PM
    meritatenmeritaten
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    edited 11 March 2016 at 11:03PM
    I count myself lucky to have been born in the fifties. I was taught to cook from an early age and at secondary school was taught cookery the 'old-fashioned way'. By a lady who obviously thought that 'domestic service' was a career option! BUT, she covered all the basics and those who had never cooked left school at least knowing enough to produce a good meal -and some very nice cakes and desserts!
    when I had my own children I was shocked that 'domestic science' was now 'food technology' and my DD spent her time learning where wheat was grown and the total gross national income from farming in countries we had barely heard of! her 'cookery' element of the exam was a.............Ham salad!
    I forecast then that there would be a whole generation of kids who relied solely on takeaways and prepared foods. especially as those mums who could cook - rarely had the time to do so as they were too busy with full time jobs etc.
    as for building homes without kitchens - they will build homes without 'hearts'! even people who don't cook will often eat and congregate in the kitchen.
    oh - and most of the 'canteen food' I have eaten has been 'like school dinners' - and everyone knows what they were like!
  • edited 11 March 2016 at 11:19PM
    kboss2010kboss2010 Forumite
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    edited 11 March 2016 at 11:19PM
    meritaten wrote: »
    I count myself lucky to have been born in the fifties. I was taught to cook from an early age and at secondary school was taught cookery the 'old-fashioned way'. By a lady who obviously thought that 'domestic service' was a career option! BUT, she covered all the basics and those who had never cooked left school at least knowing enough to produce a good meal -and some very nice cakes and desserts!
    when I had my own children I was shocked that 'domestic science' was now 'food technology' and my DD spent her time learning where wheat was grown and the total gross national income from farming in countries we had barely heard of! her 'cookery' element of the exam was a.............Ham salad!
    I forecast then that there would be a whole generation of kids who relied solely on takeaways and prepared foods. especially as those mums who could cook - rarely had the time to do so as they were too busy with full time jobs etc.
    as for building homes without kitchens - they will build homes without 'hearts'! even people who don't cook will often eat and congregate in the kitchen.
    oh - and most of the 'canteen food' I have eaten has been 'like school dinners' - and everyone knows what they were like!

    Yep, I work in a hospital and their canteen hot food consists of chips, lasagna, baked tatties, soup and chicken curries/shepherds pie type stuff. Hardly the most healthy stuff in the world. Veg is always boiled within an inch of its life and is really unappetising. There is a salad bar but it's grated carrot, iceberg lettuce, raw onion (!!!), cucumber and tomatoes with potato salad, coleslaw and quiche. Hardly the most inspiring healthy stuff either. Also, who the hell thinks it's a good idea to put raw onion in a salad served to people who spend the next 4 hours getting up close and personal with patients?? As a member of staff working in a lab I'd be worried about breathing onions over the person at the next bench, nevermind an actual patient!

    I think I should have been born in Asia. I find myself craving stir fries made from beautifully crunchy fresh vegetables with light, flavourful sauces and fluffy rice often. Just give me a bowl of lightly steamed radishes, carrot batons, broccoli, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, cashews, chicken, snap peas and peppers and I'll be sorted! :D
    "I want to be a glow worm, A glow worm's never glum
    'Coz how can you be grumpy, when the sun shines out your bum?" :D ~ Dr A. Tapping


    I'm finding my way back to sanity again... but I don't really know what I'm gonna do when I get there :p
    ~ Lifehouse
  • Former_MSE_AndreaFormer_MSE_Andrea Former MSE
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    Hi everyone

    In case you haven't seen today's announcement from WRAP yet Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Asda, Waitrose, Tesco, M&S and more have all signed up a commitment to reduce food waste by 20% by 2025.

    We've posted this on the Green and Ethical board:
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  • IslandmaidIslandmaid Forumite
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    I think that giving food to charity etc is amazing, but I do worry that these massive supermarket companies will flood charities with food they (the supermarkets) can,t sell, and the charities will be left with so much that they will be left with the burden of disposal and of course the cost of disposing what they are unable to use.
    Note to self - STOP SPENDING MONEY !!

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