Ever wondered how much edible food goes to landfill? According to statistics provided by WRAP, the UK body that quantifies food surplus, the food industry (from farmers to supermarkets) generates around 1.9 million tonnes of waste each year in the UK alone. This is around £13 billion worth of food. 250,000 tonnes of this waste is perfectly decent, edible food, that can provide 650 million meals. This waste has two tiers of impact.
Firstly, it obviously impacts those that cannot afford to eat. Those people struggling to make ends meet, or the homeless, who go without food, can easily be fed and yet the industry chooses to waste edible food instead. This is the social cost of wasted food. There are companies out there working towards putting this food to good use, such as FareShare, who take waste food and supply food banks all over Lancashire and Cumbria so that those in need don’t go without.
However, there is also an environmental impact. Avoidable food waste generates greenhouse gases – to the tune of 19 million tonnes as it rots and degrades! By avoiding this food waste, the emissions would be slashed so dramatically that it would be the equivalent of taking 1 in 4 cars off UK roads.
With the power of the food industry so firmly entrenched, and with no sign of them changing their ways any time soon, you may wonder, as a consumer, what it is that you could do about this issue… Well, I’ve got you covered!
You see, I was recently gifted a food parcel from a company named Approved Food. They’re a business selling food and drink (including alcohol) at clearance prices. They do this by purchasing food that is close to or just past it’s “best before” date and selling it onto consumers with massive reductions in price. For example, a case of 8 bottles of Coca Cola (we all know how much I love that stuff) is only £1.50!!! Approved Food have over 2000 products, from big brands to ex-supermarket stock and everything in between.
I requested some cleaning products and they did not disappoint. Disinfectant, toilet cleaner, wipes, bin bags – you name it! How can bin bags have a “best before” date? I don’t know, but they’re still perfectly usable. Aside from the cleaning products, I mentioned about young Charlie, and recieved lots of snacks and a few toys in the package, which means he is sorted for half-term soon! 😉 And even though I don’t like seafood, I was gifted some caviar!!! I’ve checked the “best before” date on some things and found them to have years left before they “go out of date”. Some stuff is even just “out of season”, meaning, for example, it’s Christmas stock that can’t be sold in shops anymore, but is still completely edible food.
The package was absolutely brim full of amazing things for me and Charlie, and has saved me so much money this month. All of the food is completely fine to eat, and I’m just gobsmacked that this is the type of decent, wholesome food that is going to waste by the truckload each day in the UK.
A browse of Approved Food’s website will bag you so many bargains. But think about the benefits of doing your food shop with Approved Food… Not only do you save yourself a hell of a lot of money, but you’re helping keep food out of landfill, thus going to waste. With Approved Food, you can do your part to help the environment and maybe help blow the winds of change in a positive direction. We can’t always trust big businesses to be socially responsible (although, it has to be said, slowly, they are getting their act together) so we, as consumers have to be the responsible ones. It’s businesses like Approved Food that give us the opportunity to speak with our money and provide us with the means to do our part to effect positive change.
Absolutely, 100% Bramblegal approved!