Sunday, 31 July 2016

It's just criminal

Hello. I don't think the Love Food Hate Waste message is getting through to people. Hugh Fearnley has a long way to go to convince everyone not to chuck things away that might have a useful life elsewhere. He has been instrumental in convincing supermarkets to sell wonky veg, and hopefully that will become more acceptable as more people join the war on waste. 
Take a look at my little haul yesterday, this food cost me no money at all, it was free. I happened to be walking through the market late afternoon just as they were starting to close down and pack away. A chance of some reduced strawberries possibly I thought. After finding some at 50p something caught my eye on the adjacent stall, a young assistant was sorting through the stock and putting some items in the wheelie bin. I had to notice that didn't I, that's what I do, notice things, ha ha. 
I said, 'you're not throwing them away are you?'  He said yes. 'But there's nothing wrong with them', I protested. He said they wont last till Monday. My hand was in there when he said I could take them. Never mind the embarrassment of scavenging in bins, free food hits the spot with me. especially when they have only been in the bin for less than a minute. I am sure they will taste a lot better than bought ones. The spuds needed a wash and they are fine. 
Hugh would be proud of me. I think I'm going to make a habit of going to town late on a Saturday and walking through the market to the car park at the back. It's not that I can't afford to buy these things, but I just can't stand seeing food being thrown away. It's criminal when so many people haven't got enough. Hugh needs to start targeting markets.

It's a sunny day outside. Grass needs mowing. Enjoy your Sunday. We'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

PS. Just remembered, it's the end of the month. Walking Group members please send in your mileage, let us know how you are doing. The target for 7 months is 583 miles for those doing three miles a day like me. I am off out now, which will take me to 584 yipeeeee. Do not worry if you are taking things at a more gentle pace, any walking is better than no walking. It has been proven time and time again, that there are many health benefits to regular walking. There are no negatives at all unless you push yourself too hard and risk injury, so don't do that. Just do your best.

39 comments:

  1. Well done! I also hate waste and never use my food waste bin, what with a compost heap, birds and pets to feed there is nothing to put in it.SueM

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  2. Food waste is, indeed, a huge problem. I am proud to say that my city has a few businesses that are addressing the problem -- Compost Nashville, will pick up waste from businesses and turn it into compost which it then distributes to community gardens, local farms and private citizens. Our local food banks also take donations of leftover foods from groceries and restaurants and use it to prepare meals and distribute to those in need. If we each do our part, we can make a difference.

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  3. What a waste why didn't he ask around to see if anyone wanted it, good thing you were there, I woukd have done the same.

    Hope you got your grass mowed.
    Hazel c uk

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    1. I was wondering why the assistant didn't take them himself. X

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    2. Deborah,
      I suspect he is strictly not allowed, by management. Chances are, he would be accused of theft.

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  4. Readers will know that I have food from the bins where my friend works. Nothing at all wrong with that. Natalie

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  5. Oh I hadn't thought about market stalls wasting so much food. Surely there are homeless/mission/food bank/refuge charities that would happily take left over produce before it goes in the bin. Crazy waste.

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  6. Well done! My dad has stories of going down to the market at closing time on a Saturday when he was young and skint to get free veg that were about to get thrown out. Maybe I shall start doing the same too..

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    1. It's worth a try, Maria. They don't have as much cold storage facilities as supermarkets, so some things cannot be kept over the weekend. Some markets only open three or four days a week.

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  7. Nice attitude from the chap on the market too :) Our local market when we had chickens used to run midweek so they were always taking stuff somewhere else next day, but they almost always found me a 'tired' looking cabbage or some slightly dry corncobs for the chooks if asked!

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  8. Where I live (coastal CA), the grocery stores used to donate "ugly" or "past it's peak freshness" produce, meats and dairy to the local food banks. Every week on specific days, local in town volunteers would make the rounds at 3 grocery stores bright and early with a refrigerated truck one volunteer owned. They'd pick up food donations and deliver them right away to a distribution point. There, local residents (most of them elderly) could grab up what they needed or wanted. Alas, a government organization known here as "Feeding America" took over to organize and distribute one paper bag of presorted food to registered people in "food insecure" households. No longer could grocery stores donate throughout the week; instead workers with the govt. program would pick up donations once per week, take it to a warehouse for sorting and storage, and truck it back to communities for distribution. This means much spoilage. And waste. The numbers of people service dropped, and many volunteers quit. The lesson? It's better--and there's MUCH less waste--when local grocery stores and residents see to it that those in need get the kind of food you were able to glean, Ilona. Think of all who could benefit! I'm glad you were able to salvage and use what otherwise would have been tossed.

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    1. Elise, Feeding America is not a government organization. It is a registered not-for-profit charity 501 (c) (3) that is an organization of food banks. I'm sorry that their work is not up to par in your area. I am familiar with Feeding America in Orlando and they do a good job there.

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    2. Barbara, I'm glad they are doing a good job in Orlando. I wrote to the organization and included pictures to illustrate before & after. My neighbor is 95 and until last year, volunteered at the food bank he'd helped establish in the 1980s. I cooked for him & his wife for years, and he'd bring me his food to use when preparing their meals, plus some for my family as a thank you. The change was alarming when Feeding America took it over. Produce would be rotten, foamy and/or moldy. Meats well beyond salvaging. I began buying food to use for their meals, because I feared they'd get seriously ill. DS1 had done a university class project (journalism) about the food bank and its volunteers before the change.

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  9. What a waste that would have been, well spotted, Ilona.

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  10. Well done to prevent some waste, Ilona. Hope you enjoy it.

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  11. Well done, free tastes better than anything.

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  12. Food waste is such a crime. Everyone knows potatoes and carrots go months in a fridge without going off and even then a spongy carrot can be cut up and put into a broth for soup. They should have thought ahead and discounted it.

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    1. Yes, they should have offered them at half price of less. The stall holder next door was offering his strawberries for 50p to anyone who was within hearing distance, just like they used to do. The younger staff don't want to do the shouting bit to sell everything off.

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  13. Yes, criminal. Often on the yellow sticker trail in the superstores I see perfectly good items discarded as being 1 day over the sell-by, and ask if I can have them, only to be told No, they have to be put in the skip.
    OK, I can understand the stores don't want sued if somebody eats bad food and it makes them ill, but even offering to sign a disclaimer doesn't make any difference, they must be sent to land-fill.
    At least the stall-holder allowed you to take them.

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  14. I only walked 64 miles in July. I hope to do better next month.
    Concerning food wast and donations, our food banks and charities here have so high hygiene standards that they never would take anything a bit tired looking or past its sell by date. I used to volunteeer at a food bank, but I quit after the "potato affair": A local farmer donated some 50 kilo sacks of potatoes, and we had to wash and sort them, put them into individual 2 kilo plastic bags, seal these and write on them that there were 2 kilos of potatoes inside! I was not the only volunteer who quit after this.

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  15. Good for you getting the good Ilona, I can't stand waste. I didn't give my walking totals totals for June either, I've just realised! So June I walked 131 miles and July I've done 122 miles. No idea what grand total is though, I'm relying on you to be my counter! Hehehe! Hugs to the furry ones,xxxx

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  16. Hi Ilona, I have to thank you because since discovering your blog, I have almost halved my food bill. This is due to shopping at the right time in the evening and buying all those yellow stickered food and veg like you do.It is such a great help especially as my husband is now retired on a pension and I'm the only one working in a low paid job. It has totally changed the way I shop and think about living without any extra expense. thank you so much regards Alana xx

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  17. Well done, good on ya! You will enjoy those free things. It's great to take pride in not wasting things. I don't use the greengrocer in my local market because he refuses to price things in kilos, which isn't legal and confuses people who have never known anything else. I sent my husband to have a look for yellow stickers last night and he came back with a poker face....hiding the fact that he had a huge haul! I have enough fruit and veg for at least a week. Somebody did give me a free cucumber today at a car boot because they couldn't sell them all. I wasn't even looking but they must have like me! Fantastic all round. Clap clap clap

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  18. Because you are a good human being, Ilona, the Universe will always provide for you!

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  19. Hello Illana,
    Well done you!
    I am often annoyed by food that is perfectly good,especially vegetables, being thrown away because they are past their sell by date. At this point the customer is not even allowed to take them away.
    My total to the end of July is 605 miles. Several of our friends are becoming infected. Sue

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  20. I imagine that so much is wasted mainly due to red tape, such as not being allowed to sell past the 'sell by' date and also companies being worried about being sued if someone suffers from food poisining. I can understand that, regarding meat and fish, but vegetables aren't likely to harm anyone if they are out of date. If I ever have any 'past their best' vegetables, I simply make a veggie stew with them. If I have any sprouted potatoes, I plant them. I always get a good crop from them.

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  21. Way to go...I'm sure it tastes delicious knowing you saved it from being wasted...my Mom lives in a nursing facility and it makes me sick every day to see the wasted food...huge portions for mostly 80-90's year old women...they look at it and say it's too much...most don't take more than a bite or two...mom asks for 1/2 portions and rarely finishes those...most days all the desserts are thrown away...shameful

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  22. What a crime that the food was going to be thrown away. Glad you were there to rescue it, Ilona.

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  23. Disgusted Canadian1 August 2016 at 01:07

    it is criminal, I absolutely agree.

    smart of you to get it.

    I have seen this sort of thing in grocers/stores in Canada.

    in fact on a similar note,
    about a month back
    went to a greenhouse/sales centre attached to a major grocery store.

    usually at the end of the time when they are going to close the green house down, they put stuff on sale. first half off, then more and more, till very cheap.

    went in, and this time saw no sale signs (although the few days prior had been half off)
    there was a nice young clerk, furiously dumping totally good bedding plants and shrubs and such into the waste bin.

    I was stunned and struck up conversation, asking if it wasn't going on sale.

    he looked VERY nervous (as if his job was at stake), and looked around and said
    the previous manager had quit, and the new one came in and told him
    that he (the manager) couldn't be bother with this discount nonsense,
    and the customers could pay full price, or they wouldn't get it.
    the young lad was very nervous at possibly being overheard. He thought it was crazy.
    he was told, he said to start dumping it all in the bin.

    thinking it was some wacko manager, made a point of going to sever others in the city.

    it was the same story all over. If a clerk was alone, and no chance of a manger near, they would ring in a cheap price. if not, it was what it was.

    therefor (and from talking to other customers they thought so too), this has to be some policy coming from the top.

    make the customer pay full price, or bin it.

    well, this customer is not going to..

    idiots.

    criminal idiots.

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  24. Well, good grief! I think my mileage is going down instead of up. I put in 57.5 for July. Three more months and my Summer job will be done; maybe i can get it back up a bit.
    Love your post about food waste! We waste too much at our house. It's an area we need to work on. I'm enthralled about freegans and their ability to find free food going in the trash, much like you did. We can't access our stores trash bins here; they're under lock and key.

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  25. My neighbour once took my dustbin by mistake. I swapped them over and discovered that she had thrown out a packet of leeks and I know there was something else but I can't rememember what now. I lifted them out of the bin... they were even in sealed bags and not a blemish on them. We had soup for two days from my haul. I was tempted to say just put anything you can't use near my back door. I am more than happy to use it up

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  26. Hi Ilona, I'm falling a bit behind target with a total of 563 miles to date. I know that without your blog to inspire me I'd be nowhere near that. Thanks for writing it. I can't wait for the Shed of the Year on Friday!

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  27. Well done you.

    My little shop in Ulverston used to be down a little lane that had the back access to the chip shop which was used for deliveries. Many a time they would drop lovely big potatoes on the road and just leave them there. I got used to watching out for the delivery and watching out for droppages, as soon as the delivery wagon drove away I would be out there picking up my spuds for the week ... there's no shame in rescuing food that would go to waste.

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  28. I'm now on 584 miles like you Ilona. Just managed to keep on track with going away. X

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  29. Hi Ilona, now on 700 miles as at 31st July, thanks!

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  30. Agreed all round; have taken your tips on board - do not turn my nose up at 'reduced' groceries, having changed my shopping pattern to get the best bargains, actively search for the 'on offer' stuff and 'guess what'? Have saved I would think hundreds of pounds this year already. I don't have any markets within a reasonable distance of me but I haunt the local supermarkets at the relevant times to fit in with other trips. It's shameful to waste food. By the way: going back to a previous topic, a hairdressing friend told me years ago, use no more than a 10p piece size of shampoo and dilute it in a cup/mug, and, ditch the conditioner unless you have really dry hair. Have saved a small fortune doing this as well. Hope the kids are all ok. Amanda x

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  31. Chucking perfectly edible food away would have been considered criminal during the Depression and the war.

    Remember the saying: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."

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  32. Just finished watching all three episodes of "Hugh's War on Waste". What an eye-opener. I thought Britons would be less concerned about aesthetics when it comes to food. Other countries, like Japan, are really concerned about appearances, but I thought the British would be okay with wonky produce as long as it's edible.

    Or maybe they are, but their supermarkets want to maximize their profits by stocking only good-looking produce. Hugh seems to have gotten the public involved in addressing this issue and the supermarkets have responded. Let's see if the movement will last.

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  33. I had a friend get in touch today and say she and her family are going away for 2 weeks and did I want some groceries that would be no good by the time they got back. Sure, I said. Wow, so many things I would have frozen or cooked up and stored - tomatoes, cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese (haven't been able to afford that in yonks!), fresh herbs, cottage cheese, yogurts, onions - and some lovely flowers too. I'm really pleased that she thought of me rather than just throwing them out though!

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