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Food waste

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:16 pm
by Flo
Whilst scanning the news online as catch up two things jumped out at me:

The East Anglia (independent) Co-op group selling dried and tinned items with expired best before dates:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42217026

And this Danish shop working in the same area - you need the sound on for this one but it's interesting:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/stories-42 ... rplus-food

Makes you think about avoidable waste in both cases and how much more self sufficient our countries in the west could be with some planning.

Re: Food waste

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:33 pm
by BernardSmith
But "best before" dates does not mean that the food is spoiled or should be trashed... That people refuse to buy such products is a cultural artifact...

Re: Food waste

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:38 pm
by Flo
Yep Bernard but people do refuse to buy dried and tinned goods after their best before dates on all sorts of misinformed grounds. And these are examples of companies and people kicking back trying to change that mindset. It needs doing.

Re: Food waste

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:11 pm
by Green Aura
There's an online store - Approved Foods - which only sells after "best before" and "end of line" products. They've gone from selling a small amount, out of their spare bedroom to having a big warehouse.

I have a look every now and then, you can often buy more unusual, expensive items for very reasonable prices. In England the shipping is free, up here I have to pay for delivery but it's still a lot cheaper than from elsewhere.

Re: Food waste

Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:26 pm
by Weedo
Couldn't agree more - best before dates on honey, dried pulses and unshelled nuts ?????? I DO watch the use by dates on supermarket milk though, it could be a week or more old before it gets to the shelf.

Re: Food waste

Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 3:26 pm
by RenewableCandy
Pulses take longer to cook if they're older. Wouldn't stop me from buying them, but it's worth remembering when I come round to actually cooking them.

I tend to eat all the time-expired food in our house when everyone else is away. Some of it has been, in the past, quite spectacularly old! I'm still here.

Re: Food waste

Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 11:07 pm
by Weedo
Here's more food waste issues to kick around.

Here in NSW the loss of food product before it gets to the market is around 30%; due mainly to insect, pathogen and disease etc.etc. This is in the modern, non-organic production systems using all the chemicals and pesticides, fumigants, sealed storage systems etc. In organic agriculture, the loss is around 60%.

Restaurants in Oz (and possibly everywhere else) throw out about 40% of the food stock they purchase.
One in four restaurant diners leave food on their plate and this can be up to 20% of the meal.
Oz households throw out the equivalent of one in five of the bags of groceries they buy.
OzHarvest - a charity that "rescues" food from going to waste from a range of sources (not dumpster diving) has, in the last 12 years gathered 20 million Kg of food that would have gone to landfill and provided it as meals to vulnerable people.

Re: Food waste

Posted: Fri May 18, 2018 6:58 am
by Skippy
BernardSmith wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:33 pm
But "best before" dates does not mean that the food is spoiled or should be trashed... That people refuse to buy such products is a cultural artifact...
I've family members and specifically my sister in law who throw out perfectly good food "because it's out of date and they wouldn't put dates on food for no good reason ". I've given up trying to tell my SIL that the perfectly good reason is just so that you go out and buy more. Still we end up with stuff for free at times. She also didn't get the joke when I said the 2013 bottle of wine she was drinking was "out of date" .
On the other hand there are others that go out of their way to seek out older foods ,
http://www.mreinfo.com/forums/viewtopic ... e4c0fee1c8

Re: Food waste

Posted: Fri May 18, 2018 1:02 pm
by Odsox
Skippy wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:58 am
there are others that go out of their way to seek out older foods
Maybe not quite as extreme as that, but mushrooms are a vegetable that needs "maturing" in our house.
Fresh mushrooms from the shop are pretty much tasteless, but if you take them out of the shrink wrapped plastic container and put them in a paper bag and leave them in the bottom of your fridge for a week, they taste almost like wild ones.

Re: Food waste

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 7:49 am
by weedo2
Skip
I must contradict; the reason for the use by dates are government regulation. In our modern " make them responsible & make them pay" society Government has been forced into legislating use by dates to avoid the socio-political risks if someone gets sick. Retailers, now made responsible for our decisions, make very sure there is no possibility that their product could be anywhere near aged enough to be a risk.

Re: Food waste

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 5:15 pm
by Skippy
Yes I'd agree with what you say about use by dates even though they are generally over cautious rather than a turns to rat poison on a particular date and public safety is of course a serious issue but with regards to best before dates they are nothing more than a guide and producers do sod all to try and pursuade people that eating something past it's BBD will not cause harm. It is indeed a cultural thing that many have it in their heads that expired BBDs means the food should be thrown. It's essentially the same as built in obsolescence to encourage more purchases and more consumption . Still makes the GDP figures look good.

Re: Food waste

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 7:26 am
by Flo
I suspect a little more of this might be good as I think that a lot of customers are at the root of food waste problems.
tips to keep food fresh beyond its best before date

Re: Food waste

Posted: Wed May 30, 2018 8:22 pm
by Skippy
One thing I have picked up is that food producers have a legal obligation to place either a use by or a best before date on their products. As we know best before is about quality and is only a guide. Use by is about food safety . This has made me think , if it's accepted that food deteriorates and a BB is justified surely that should mean that the food could deteriorate enough to possibly cause harm and that food should carry a use by date too?

Re: Food waste

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 5:50 am
by Flo
Both dates are guidance. Storage is important. Buying too much is often more of a problem. I suspect that if people only bought what they were going to use over the next week or so there would be a lot less of a hang up about best before and use by.

Re: Food waste

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 8:07 am
by happyhippy