£1bn of Food is Binned Before Even Reaching the Shop Shelves

By Gary Cutlack on at

Campaigners have discovered a new way we're all vaguely responsible for disrespecting the food chain, with literally mountains of produce -- 3.6m tonnes of it every year -- hitting the bins or being sloshed off as animal feed before it even reaches the UK's supermarket shelves.

Anti-waste campaign group Wrap says this wastage in "primary production" between the farm and the fridges tops a high street worth of £1.2bn, with around 7.2 per cent of our entire food production mass being declared unsuitable, or not round/green/red enough to make it to the shops, or too wonky even for the wacky veg aggregation boxes of the discount chains. Yet more of a crime is the annual 2m tonnes of "surplus" edible food that's binned despite being perfectly edible and the right colours and shapes; although at least some of this may make its way to food charities rather than going straight in the slop bucket for the pigs.

Peter Andrews from the British Retail Consortium said: "The challenges involved in tackling food waste in farming are vast, but if we are to be serious about these environmental and social challenges of food production and consumption then we can leave no stone unturned."

No, Peter, don't overturn the stones. You'll wake up the slugs and make it worse. Bloody townies. [Wrap via Guardian]