A story about food waste

Filed in Waste News by on July 25, 2008 6 Comments
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Tim Brown - ordered to throw away 520 kiwi fruit
I found leads for this story on two great blogs  – Peter’s environmental notes and Russel’s Good Living Tips. This story from the BBC was published in June. It highlights one grocer’s situation in Bristol. Tim Down was ordered to throw away 520 kiwi fruit (thirty one 10-kilo boxes) by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) because the consignment “failed to meet EU grading rules”.

This guy wasn’t even allowed to GIVE them away to schools or hostels without facing thousands of pounds worth of fines.

This story leaves me utterly speechless (well, it doesn’t, but they are hardly things I would like to print here :D). Half of the world is starving, we’re supposed to be in the midst of a credit crunch, the average Briton throws away one third of the food they buy every week and, and, and…………

Well, you know what I mean.

Read the story here and do let us know what you think.


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (6)

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  1. I’ve read stories like that before, and I think it’s horrifying that they aren’t even allowed to give it away. Like you said, people are going hungry in our own countries, and yet we’re throwing away perfectly edible food? Stupid.

  2. I’ve heard things like that – Large supermarkets that have food just over or close to the sell by date and they’re told to ruin it rather than give it to local hostels/homeless/whoever. It just stinks.

    I would have put the cases beside the bin, clearly they’d not fit in, and make damned sure that people passing knew they were there. After all, you can’t stop people raiding your rubbish can you?

  3. Wasn’t there something about bananas a few years ago as well…bananas eh? Says it all! Just shows the power of retail and some of the daft bureaucracy that goes with it.

  4. I think so, and cucumbers that had to be straight? No curvy fruit because it *doesn’t stack well*

  5. jen cleanbin says:

    That is so sad to hear. So much food gets wasted on our cities (and in the fields) because it is less than perfect. There is an agency here in Vancouver that collects food that would otherwise be thrown out and sells it (at a great discount)or gives it to people in need. Check out http://www.questoutreach.org/

  6. Mr Green says:

    From http://www.questoutreach.org/ I almost cried when I read this … Thanks Jen for enlightening us.

    “Almost two decades ago, Quest Outreach Society launched an innovative business model: to rescue food — perfectly good cans, boxes and perishables — that would otherwise be tossed in the garbage and headed for our landfills, and redirect it to hungry people in the Lower Mainland who need it most. We call it the Quest Food Exchange.

    Today, we’re B.C.’s only food exchange and we divert 5.77 million pounds of surplus food from landfills each year, which adds up to $8.26 million worth of food. We fill and then empty our 575-m2 warehouse each day, providing food to hundreds of social service agencies in the region feeding 70,000 people a month. Yet we’re capturing less than 1% of the food being wasted. “

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