Food Waste A Round Up of Petitions and Pledges

Food Waste : A Round Up of Petitions and Pledges

Food Waste A Round Up of Petitions and Pledges

From farm to plate, we waste between 30-50 percent of the food we produce. Food that could be used to feed 3 billion people.

Hugh’s War on Waste on BBC One is giving much needed attention to the issue of food waste. On the surface it looks like a no brainer. Why would we discard perfectly good food while some people are going hungry? Why are we effectively throwing money in our kitchen bins (estimated at around £60 a week)?

We throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year in the UK, and more than half of this is food and drink we could have eaten. This, of course, comes at a high environmental impact the planet could certainly do without.

From leftover crops and crazy supermarket cosmetic standards to our own consumer waste, this is a problem that needs addressing on many levels.

(source: BBC)

(source: BBC)

This week’s episode of Hugh’s War on Waste saw Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall visiting Tattersett’s Farm in Norfolk where 20 tonnes of parsnips a week were going to waste for not meeting Morrison’s cosmetic standards. Too short, too thin, too fat, too ugly or even not wonky enough! Have we grown so disconnected with our food that we need “perfect” produce? From the seasoned allotment owner to the casual home vegetable grower, we all know that perfect vegetables are more the exception than the norm.

But the point is that it does not matter. It all tastes the same! Last year’s Intermarché (France’s third largest supermarket chain) launched a very visual campaign against food waste: “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables” highlighting the plight of non-calibrated, imperfect fruit and vegetables.


Another shocking and very disturbing fact from this week’s episode was that at least a million chickens are wasted at KFC every year. Imagine what this adds up to if you look at the fast food business as a whole? Also our obsession and misunderstanding of expiry dates means that we throw away a lot of food that can still be eaten.

Hugh’s War on Waste is a wake up call that something HAS to change. Here is a round up of petitions and pledges you can sign up to, as well as websites and resources to help you waste less. Get involved, sign up and share with your friends and family. Make sure you tune in on Monday for Episode 2. Together we can make a difference #wastenot



Reduce Supermarket Waste of Fruit and Vegetables via 38 degrees
Stop food waste in Europe #StopFoodWaste via
Stop Food Waste, End Hunger! via Avaaz




Love Food Hate Waste
The Flexitarian’s Leftover Recipes & Food Waste Tips
Real Junk Food Project

Olio – a free app which connects neighbours with each other and local shops so that surplus food can be shared

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14 Responses to Food Waste : A Round Up of Petitions and Pledges

  1. Derrick Hamling November 9, 2015 at 11:55 pm #

    I saw the programme tonight 9th November waste not want not. I am interested in signing up to your survey mentioned on the programme but I cannot find it.

    I am interested in letting the supermarkets I visit know what I feel about cosmetic engineered food do you have a suggested letter I could send to these supermarkets.

    My father for many years had an allotment on which he grew a large amount of veg to feed the family. I don’t remember him ever rejecting any veg because it was bent too large or to small it or because it was cosmetically wrong. When the food was brought into the kitchen mum would top and tail the veg, and take of outside leaves of green veg, this would go back on to compost for replacing in to the ground for next years crop. so why are the supermarkets wasting all this food. Eventually this situation will come back and bite them on the bottom. because the farmers will not be able to surve them with perfect veg.
    Derrick Hamling.

  2. A.S.HEUGH November 10, 2015 at 12:46 am #

    Hello Hugh Have been watching your programme on wasted food. Absolutely great to see someone taking on the Supermarkets Its about time . I have a question to ask . When Morrison’s put the miss shape courgette with the nice package ones . Why did they not lower the price and sell them loose. This would apply to bent Carrot and Parsnips. I bet they would sell loose at a lower price. And even make a profit as there is no packaging involved. Less to recycle.
    Packaging is a night mare and as a old age pensioner find it hard to remove.
    Now we know its not the EU telling us that we can not eat bent veg or fruit but the greedy Supermarkets. You showed the Fishing plight well done. Keep up the good work with you 100 per cent.

    Yours A.S.HEUGH

    • theflexitarian November 10, 2015 at 11:40 am #

      The Flexitarian blog is not Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s site just mine 🙂 . I agree with you though, the class 2 courgettes should have been sold cheaper than class 1 for this “experiment” to have any meaningful results. This was just pointless from Morrison. Last year French supermarket Intermarché sold misshaped vegetables at a 30% discount. At the end of the trial the misshaped vegetables sold better. They were cheaper, tasted the same!
      You can sign Hugh’s War on Waste pledge here and follow the Facebook page . Annabelle

  3. Mike Lorraine November 10, 2015 at 2:06 am #

    I firmly believe that so called ugly veg is more highly regarded than the large supermarkets
    wish to admit,,If people grow there own do they eat only the prettiest produce I don”t think so.
    furthermore how can natural mineral water have a best before date please I wish MORE POWER TO YOUR campaign, war on waste is not only a good thing it is critical to redressing the general
    malaise which this over rich and lazy lifestyle that we have all slipped into.
    Regards Mike(Quiche)Lorraine.

    • theflexitarian November 10, 2015 at 11:45 am #

      Mike – Thanks for your comment. The Flexitarian blog is not Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s site just mine 🙂 . I am also of the opinion that “ugly” vegs are not so much of an issue for most consumers. I grow some vegetables in my garden and they come in all sorts of forms and shapes. Supermarkets need a rethink and so do we as consumers. So much waste is absurd. You can sign Hugh’s War on Waste pledge here and follow the Facebook page .

  4. Bob Czeckatoliov November 10, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

    Total nonsense.

    You have to grow 200 parsnips to get 100 good ones.
    That’s how it is.
    It isn’t waste.

    Growing 300 to get 100 good ones would be wasteful, if 200 would do.
    200 is the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM you need to get 100 good ones.
    That’s very efficient.

    But they’re going to waste! Why not use them?
    So, I could have a good parsnip or a mangled parsnip? Yes.
    OK. Good, please. And the mangled one gets thrown away.
    What a waste!
    No, it isn’t. I only wanted one. And I have the good one.

    You could have the mangled one.
    For the price of a good one?
    Are you trying to con me?!
    If it was insurance that would be mis-selling

    Ah, but what if the mangled one is half-price?
    That’s different! OK, I’ll take the mangled one.
    But now the good one gets thrown away, instead.
    And the farmer gets only half the money.
    And you reckon that makes more sense, do you?!

    But you could buy BOTH.
    Sure. I could eat twice as many parsnips.
    But now I don’t want any carrots.
    So the parsnip farmer wins but the carrot farmer goes bust.
    What have you go against carrot farmers?

    And are they really thrown away?
    From what I see they become own-brand frozen veg.

    So why are they being thrown away?
    There are enough that we can choose only good ones.
    How do we solve that?
    Grow less. Some farmers have to go bust.
    How do we do that?
    Supply and demand.
    When there’s a glut, you pay less.
    Its why strawberries are cheaper in the summer.

    But going bust, that’s terrible!
    Do you want to stop waste or not?
    Too many farmers is clearly wasteful.
    But which ones would go bust?
    The inefficient ones.
    Probably the ones with the swanky kitchen.
    They’re obviously not reinvesting in the farm.
    Not trying as hard as other farmers.
    So they deserve to be the ones who go bust.

    And guess what?
    That’s exactly what’s happening.
    The process is as efficient as possible.

    But look! All these people will use this waste food!
    Sure. If its free.
    But do you expect the farmers to grow them for free?
    That’s one certain way to go bust.

    But we could feed millions like this. With the waste.
    Sure. But then the supermarkets would be empty.
    So less demand, more farmers would go bust.
    Then there would be less produced.
    So prices would go up.
    And there’d be less waste if less was produced.

    With less waste you couldn’t provide so much free stuff.
    But when they go back to the supermarket, it would be more expensive.
    In fact, that process is already happening.
    Very slightly, so you don’t really notice, but it is. Its inevitable.

    The amount of waste produced is the optimum, the minimum.
    Its the most efficient, the most economic all things considered.
    Otherwise it wouldn’t happen that way.
    Same with strawberries.

    As I said, ill thought out complete nonsense.

    • Lorenzo Bruno November 11, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

      Growing 200 parsnips to get 100 is a waste of 100 parsnips.

      We’re not talking about “good” or “mangled”, we’re talking about the supermarkets definition of “good” and what falls slightly outside of their prescripted dimensions.
      From the pictures I saw, if a lot of the ‘unsatisfactory produce were sold in the same tray as the satisfactory produce most members of the public would not notice the difference.

      You don’t seem to be seeing the bigger picture, that this is not just about food waste, it’s about resource waste. The fuel, the time, the land, etc. taken to grow – to use your figures – ‘twice’ as much as we need could be significantly reduced.

      The farmer is paid for the produce that supermarkets take. All things being equal, if the surpermarkets take more then the farmer can get the same money for producing less, and make a saving on reduced production costs. That’s win win.

    • theflexitarian November 12, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

      Thanks for your comment. Throwing out perfectly good food is wrong. Growing 200 parsnips you should be able to consume most of them, not throw away 100 just because they do not fit within cosmetic guidelines. Food waste is also a waste of essential resources (such as water, energy, labour, land etc…) The system is not the most efficient and certainly not the most economic. It comes at a high price on the farmer and the environment.

  5. Jacqui Esson November 10, 2015 at 11:13 pm #

    Please sign me up for your petition on Supermarket food waste. I have tried several times to sign it but the signing boxes just keep disappearing ? Just use my Name and email address. If you need my postal address it is 40 West Avenue, Chelmsford Essex CM1 2DE. Many thanks and the best of luck in changing this disgusting and immoral practice. Your sincerely Jacqui Esson xx

  6. Dr D A Jones December 16, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    Food wasted by Supermarkets, fast food shops and individuals is disgraceful,

  7. Mrs C Jones December 16, 2015 at 11:39 am #

    Food fit for eating should not be wasted. If it doesn’t sell it should be passed on to needy and homeless people.

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