Tuesday, 29 January 2013

A new type of food waste in Supermarkets

EMERGE Recycling

I find myself wondering about the levels of food waste in supermarkets across the country as a result of the increase in availability, and range of pre-prepared food. Visiting a large supermarket recently I was taken aback by the range of food that had been diced, sliced or grated then encased in plastic. 

Not only is this food more expensive, less nutritious (vitamin levels are reduced when veg and fruit is cut up), it is also far more likely to be wasted.  Anyone who has bought a butternut squash, or grown a pumpkin will know that if it is stored well it can keep, literally for months.  In comparison, a plastic packet of squash will only keep for a matter of days – and that’s only if it makes its way into someone’s fridge.  Given the costs of this sort of pre-prepared food – it’s the labour for doing the peeling and dicing and packaging and transporting that makes it more expensive – exactly how much of this type of pre-prepared food is being disposed of at the back of individual stores I wonder?  It is very difficult to get supermarkets to disclose how much food is wasted in their supply chain, so…

Next time you go into a supermarket, check out the range of pre-prepared food and ask the store manager what happens to it when it is passed its sell by date. Please post their reply here, or tweet it with @FareShareNW and #stopfoodwaste in your tweet!

Debbie Ellen

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