We learnt last week that we throw away 30% of the food we buy. On closer examination, half of that is bones or inedible stalks, that sort of thing. The other bit – the remaining 15% of food that we throw away is, we are told, down to people buying too much food and some of it passing its eat-by-date. Silly us.
We must be silly, we ‘consumers’, because on the radio (Radio Four, that is) advice along the lines of: ‘Write a shopping list before you go shopping’ is handed out. ‘Only buy what you need.’ And the heretical: ‘Ignore the dates and use your nose. If it smells good, eat it.’ It’s as if we’ve become divorced from common sense and need these sentinels of the sensible to tell us to do the blindingly obvious.
Buy food, eat it. Waste not.
When I was at school we were served awful food: stringy and gristly meat; potatoes with grey lumps and sodden cabbage; tadpoles’ eggs. Dreadful. When some of us had difficulty eating this muck, the nuns at my school would always remind us of the starving children in India or Africa. How we longed to ship it to them.