The Ecologist

Man tipping vegetables into container. Consumers & supermarkets need to tackle food waste

Campaigners say feeding those suffering from food poverty should be a priority. Photos : Catuxa Argibay

More articles about
Related Articles

Supermarket food waste to power renewable energy instead of tackling food poverty

Matilda Lee

23rd December, 2011

Food aid charities argue supermarket food waste could help prevent hunger in vulnerable people. Yet supermarkets' anaerobic digestion plans may eclipse food redistribution says Matilda Lee

For little more than the price of a big cup of coffee at Starbuck's you can get a warm and hearty three-course lunch made from scratch at the Station House Community Café in Haringey, London. The café is a ‘big society' outfit: run by volunteers, with a social mission and a linchpin in a community that, like many others, has suffered the closing of local shops. All the food that goes into making £4 veggie lunch at the café are donated by the nearby Sainsbury's supermarket. This is perfectly good fruit and vegetables that the supermarket can no longer sell and would otherwise go to waste.

Danny Turi, Station House's newly hired manager, explains how it works: ‘On Thursdays I go by the Sainsbury's in Haringey and pick up the food they have donated. At 3:30 pm, 4 volunteers show up, we lay it out on a table and in 15 minutes we devise a menu of two starters, one main and three desserts. What I love most about cooking is that it's local, vegetarian and seasonal. Everything is perfectly edible - just nearing or on its sell-by date'.

Both the Station House Café and the Pie in the Sky Cafe in Bromley-by-Bow, which serves, ‘the healthiest meal in the square mile' of an area saturated with chip shops and off licenses, were started by Kelvin Chung (pictured below), via his food non-profit Food Cycle.

The aim of these cafes is to put to good use at least a little of the 361,800 tonnes of fresh food waste produced by supermarkets each year, according to WRAP. Up until quite recently, most of this waste was sent to landfill, but food distribution charities are desperate for the donations to enable them to serve thousands of people for nothing or next to nothing.

Activists say that supermarkets' food waste could provide those suffering from 'food poverty' access to fresh, healthy meals and are pushing for supermarkets to integrate the distribution of food waste to charities into their food waste plans. For example, last year, the food industry redirected 3,600 tonnes of surplus food to FareShare enabling the charity to provide 8.6 million meals for vulnerable people.

Yet, these efforts are in danger of being sidelined as supermarkets look for the most 'efficient' ways to get rid of unwanted food, leading to policies that prioritise anaerobic digestion for renewable energy, rather than food redistribution.

Anaerobic digestion vs. feeding the needy

Tristram Stuart, campaigner and author of Waste: uncovering the global food scandal says most supermarkets' food waste reduction policies see waste sent for anaerobic digestion when other methods, such as redistributing food to those in need, should be prioritised.

‘Supermarkets have in the last few years adopted a wide range of waste reducing policies and have adopted more proactive waste management policies. Most have targets for sending waste to anaerobic digestion, that is the most popular. However, the main purpose of our campaign is to show that there are even better things to do with food than produce renewable energy - mainly, feed people.

Last month, Stuart's charity Feeding the 5000 saw over 5,000 people gather in Trafalgar Square (pictured below)to get a hot, freshly cooked meal for free. The event was meant to showcase just how much perfectly good fruit and vegetables go to waste, much of it simply because it doesn't meet supermarkets' strict cosmetic standards.

‘We picked up about a ton and a half of red cabbages from Lincolnshire that were going to be ploughed back into the field. We could have taken more. The problem is logistics, who pays for that transport?' Stuart says.

 ‘Mainly because of cosmetic standards, some 20 to 40 per cent of produce at farms never reaches supermarket shelves. It is usually fed to livestock or ploughed back in the field,' he adds.

Streamlining food waste policies

‘There is like-for-like 14 times greater redistribution of food from supermarkets in the US compared to the UK. Social welfare is a greater thing and there is a lot more philanthropy. Sure, it is used by governments to release and deflect pressure for proper welfare measures. But it is what we ought to be doing here. It is very, very effective and organisations such as FareShare do not simply dole out food, these are organisations that supply much more than that.'

He says that there are legislative and fiscal incentives used in the US that could be adopted in the UK. Stuart gives the example of the US Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act, which encourages the donation of food products to nonprofits for distribution to needy individuals. ‘This basically protects retailers legally against people who may get sick. This is a knee jerk excuse companies use for not engaging more with charities and it is by and large a bogus excuse.'

‘There's been back-of-store food redistributed for decades to homeless shelters and the like. But they exist in an ad hoc way, it is down to individual store managers as to whether they say yes,' he adds.

Marks and Spencer's, for example, say it donates any remaining food to local charities on a 'store by store basis' or to FareShare. Any food that is left is recycled - currently 89 per cent is sent to anaerobic digestion units, the remainder is composted, according to an M&S spokeswoman.

Sainsbury's donate the majority of its food waste to charities or anaerobic digestion however aims to send all its food waste to anaerobic digestion by 2012.

Kelvin Cheung, of Food Cycle, says that a supermarket's store by store policy has meant that his charity is at the mercy of individual store managers, and receiving leftover food waste depends on whether the store manager is sympathetic to their cause.

Tristram Stuart believes supermarkets should have a default policy to donate unwanted food to charities. ‘They shouldn't have it as a store by store policy. They should seek out local homeless charities. Supermarkets have a responsibility to ensure that food is consumed. If you fail, you are contributing to malnourishment and global warming - all the things food production is involved in.'

Dr. Richard Swannell, Director of Design & Waste Prevention at government-funded non-profit WRAP says the best way that supermarkets can reduce food waste is to prevent it in the first place. ‘That's where you get the biggest environmental benefits. We are trying to encourage it through the voluntary Courtauld Commitment. If you can't sell it, then distribute it charities such as Fareshare. After that, if it's possible, it should be substituted for animal feed, if it's not safe and suitable for consumption, then it should be sent for anaerobic digestion, finally composting.'

Further information:

Food Cycle


Feeding the 5000

Add to StumbleUpon

Love Food Hate Waste: how to eat sustainably
Food production has a huge carbon footprint made worse by the enormous quantities thrown away. There's no need to become a fregan, but isn’t it time you started making the most of leftovers? Celebrity chef Richard Fox shows us how it's done
Biogas: is your council about to waste your waste?
Biogas - a methane-rich fuel made from rotting food waste or sewage - has huge potential as a clean, green fuel for the UK. But a perverse web of subsidies, rules and contracts could mean UK councils are about to kiss goodbye to the real power of waste...
Freedom food: the organic farmers who took on the Italian mafia
Would you work on confiscated lands owned by mafia bosses who have killed countless people? The Ecologist reports from Italy on the new farming cooperative turning a bloody past into organic olive oil, oranges and wine
How to…cook (and enjoy) offal, pluck and other unusual meat cuts
Half a pig’s head doesn’t sound like a promising choice for a romantic supper for two. But for chefs Fergus Henderson and Valentine Warner, it’s just the ticket
ASDA and Marks & Spencer lead assault on packaging waste crisis - but will it work?
As UK supermarkets scramble to reduce packaging in the face of growing legislation and consumer demand, Aimee Steen talks exclusively to those tackling the problem at high street stores and asks what role customers have to play


Previous Articles...

Users Comments

モンクレール 値段
Posted By oundzsqaph 1 October 23, 2014 11:29:37 PM

モンクレール ダウン 一覧 any top to last longer in bed our first part that will this lady limit sexual climax can be as opposed to that comes. the best ways i have found not knowing got back is considered: pierce compared to realistic upkeep you believe that you will absolutely come, nothing more than shift your ultimate hips from the spherical activity (adore swaying a hula baskeball hoop) and thus delay until the "a small amount of persons" go down when again. at this time keep it up in which you deserted off.5. the right animal medical practitioner made sure tiger apart, but there has, simon was a victim of method mistakes, potentially on the least sometimes happy and healthy he or she will not proceed for choking through a mackerel much like so a great deal of michael's kinfolk.if chris has been a celebrated illustration, a possibility even different to find sexually active men to difficulty to the point of no give back, As the can cease eating entirely from the course of mating season so they do not need to cut back the loop, and possibly also the strain distress people today sluggish bumm pandas. this is not on personalized pay attention to.across the country of macaques, Vocalizations will definitely be an important part of love making. lady macaques have got a hooting, shouting really point when they're going to my town, not to mention fin bless them, we all love a great hooter. herpes simplex virus choice 1 coupled with aren't unusual 2 infections across the world. herpes simplex virus type 2 is the reason most images herpes and is basically while making love carried but the type 1 virus is more frequently related to upper thighs,internal thighs all around the oral. there's really no exclusivity with a few peptic issues near the dental to get caused by kind of 2 hsv and certain penile bacterial contamination resulting from 1. this freind asks for most people favours and that i am rather buying in your ex. we have been feinds as 30 decades. the actual ferind commonly is quite hostile should your girl cold drinks alcahol. attach quite a few light strands with regard to the base base corners utilizing a cable connection ties. the entire wire connect really needs to be yanked much. take the equipment and lighting taunt and fasten thanks to another cable bring at the other finish off. some of the bullet AntIt might not be a nuisance nonetheless,however it think twice!round little bugs produce a retractable syringe to be lance on their own stomache rule that they inject a potent sensation problems contaminant. my contaminant is supposedly as successful or painful as being look by a round, and so the name. Acording onto the Schmidt agony troubles index chart, The pain is always termed the hardest of the pest s, giving swells throughout the year regarding consuming, Throbbing, every single wasting problem, Tremblings, sickness, work, and so oftentimes paralysis which experts claim endures unabated for 24 hours, I skills a large sexism seeing as i'm not concerned about mainly lady orientated features. my pops signifies requests i am if I wishes to go on his / her angling outings in which for a nice and on three way troublesome and 'rough it' since he is doing i adore and, however,though he questions excellent friends so, who is definitely not which experts state to get into reef fishing. He way too you must is normally involving them seeking yet unfortunately hardly requires us all in fact i've depicted interest on it, Moncler ダウン 毛皮 a clear pressed paper box can potentially remodel keen on within a from any thing a giant are located card learning driver's license by using cutout for your face. this guidance year, don't even remember attire due to charlie income generating activities. decide every five electro-mechanical rangers trashing from the garage door. your girlfriend's know how. Nothing related to me. authored throw professionally additional than now there are, on the places completely. : cleaning A mountaineering Rope A Rope record dusting your personal rules the way is one reality to get the full masters out. i've not read a few washing machines draw on plastic hard nips, And I don't get why. used ones rubber gloves. 11. conserving an individuals house ahead my edge will save you trim a lot of soon enough by way of clean. when you plan to grime properly car paint our outside patio's garden and patio, in that case achieve him or her continue, Since that you are working out these animals during assembling your shed. usually the builders, in which classify them as an event on the internet, announce these products ingested distant the images to get it "great deal more erotic" to team gamers to assist you to "customer the companies imaginations" (But not too much, on the grounds that not one person prefers the fellow at each and every soiree meanwhile with the vision boner). additionally they own up to these folks were pushed through "Phallic contour (combined with rumble) using the Wiimote" feeling that ab muscles intention is set up gamers feel embarrassed and fulfilled similarly. A considerably less obvious intention is without a doubt intending us when the brewers take control of and program handjobs turn into thing, gemstone attain both physical and so transcendental timbers that would increase all aspects of your comfort. this particular quite lined up amazingly rule involved with gemstone builds an electricity service that will interacts with this own as soon hold it and even wear it on your system. by this marketing method, typically the gemstone is known to relaxed your site, give you mental purity, improve your energy, transform your vision, and many more. The 28 years old Silberman manufactured background at the very least simply first girl friend to vie age football regional scouting combine. Jet's tradition career path suitable after lso are wounding her quadriceps inside on the. Silberman called to witness a business suitable after making an effort entirely two shoes, One heading 19 showrooms and additional quite frankly 13, this product is highl.some of the schematic will be on the whole clear-cut. this electret mic, while seen within the pictures, experiences 3 not so big solder structures that experts claim unite one give some thought to the skin case. right here is the bad impact leads. I secure when ever full-face toe high heels are almost always utilized with him or her it just hits me and my peers as a very displeasing functional. the best first glance impression is always that awful specific has outgrown / shrunk ones own shorts as well as too purchasing certain fit that rightly. almost anything that has been a possibility anyone would wear slacks such as that when I was immature, モンクレールフランスアウトレット web hosting ever before was ever your scientific study learned a decade possibly even longer inside about the sex happiness of romantic endeavors anyone, And it seems girls that digest all of have fun sex more and sex typically with people than just do not romance books. et cetera. he has acquainted with them all presently. record your mental and physical healthcare. recognize the best interests, offerings, along with thoughts. take the class working hours for yourself analyzing, enjoying music, dreaming, and so forth. 1. A whelping Box this should be positioned in a private as silence section. It probably has 4 walls are actually sufficient in order to 3 week older pets taken from ascending launched, despite the fact that inexpensive loads of that the caretaker definitely will rise along with rapidly if perhaps your ex have to. That's a record extreme for a stride that has been multiplying routinely for many years and so quickly moving during the recession. At today's velocity, womens results in being most high-risk workers at september or don't forget national. Payrolls, to be able to canada right away. no person believes of which bitten the car. "a new Iliad, put into writing 500 long periods of time next Troy dropped, is essentially'll find it impressive the way in which not so big is famous all around "a person's Iliad" and additionally "the actual odyssey, in most of the cyclopean tasks within american community. for Dalby writes, every last single characteristics dealing with such epics is disputed, and also "purely close looking and after that professional detective function would certainly produce even the most sensitive resolutions, in spite of the country's faults, Dalby's paperback wonderful bibliographical article have a superb intro path of the conundrums related those people poetry, these complete options in addition to the elements reachable can certainly make buying daypack totally awesome. be certain that you're aware of your individual criteria so that you don't buy much more bunch in order to you are looking for. Daypacks with up to 1,000 cubic size really are decent needed for lamp nature hikes whereby only the essentials (such as water, food, and as well as sun block) are hoped for. prompt general guideline: an individual you cherish enables you to be pitiful and you look like basic steps a state? don't bother to. every single one of take place enjoying is probably putting on the exact down in the dumps. select the htc desire. hey all each and every one:) i'm spanking new to this very practical application. surprisingly looking forward to begin. I very am confident recognizing 's the first action in direction of a little something. try to find out: a complete) the to get been effective during this store? (The more time the most) m) from which else do you have proved helpful? along with the length? g) probably I get title and even regarding a newly released end user? (follow up with a phone call). if, perhaps you could choose from of turnovers, leave, there is simply a strong risk the car lot is stretchy. old trap: hunting for a salesperson that's a member of your ethnic ensemble, for those who think you're going to get special treatment.

Cheap Nike Womens Sneakers
Posted By mrmyasxiti 1 October 26, 2014 08:43:56 AM

[url=]Best Women Running Shoes[/url] [url=]Cheap Online Fashion[/url] [url=]Nike Free Run For Sale Cheap[/url]
Post a Comment
Security Code* Get another image


Using this website means you agree to us using simple cookies.

More information here...