Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

War on Waste

I was interested this week to watch a new BBC program. 

It’s called Hugh’s War on Waste. 

(He’s a TV chef turned environmental awareness campaigner. )

It was an interesting show. He drew our attention to the way that supermarkets judge produce against  ‘cosmetic standards’. This literally means that a parsnip which is slightly too short or too wide at the top in relation to the bottom or heaven forbid slightly less straight won’t be accepted. 

This means that tonnes of perfectly edible, perfectly tasty food is thrown away by growers every week!

It’s insane. 

People are hungry, there’s food but it’s not attractive enough!

Have I been getting it wrong all this time. I was thinking that a key element of food enjoyment was the taste?

The show showed us vegetables that looked perfectly fine but yet weren’t good enough for our supermarket shelves! In giant heaps. 


And then….

The show also did a good job for the home front. First pointing out that Use by dates are leading too many people to throw away perfectly good food at home. 

Up to 40%of food goes in the bin every week. If there’s seven days in the week, that’s nearly three days worth!

The top tip was to think about the food we have in the fridge. Most vegetables can go in a soup if they are a little limp. He did four things. 

Grated Soggy Tomato

Slice a tomato in half and the use a grater to pulp it for a sauce. 

Soup Hummus

The Use by date Hummus went in the veggie soup. Apparently a first for him. But thinking about what’s in hummus it’s not a bad idea. Basically chick peas. 

Clever Smoothie

Any fruit that was slightly squished either went in the freezer or in a smoothie. It still tasted great. 

Stale Bread

Ideal for crispy croutons. Yum!

All of this made such good sense. We do use food and ignored the dates but it’s good to be reminded. 

I’m looking forward to watching the next one. The focus is on clothes next time. 
What waste could you do better at reducing? 

15 comments on “War on Waste

  1. andy1076
    November 4, 2015

    I’ve seen the show before too, It’s incredible how food is wasted, especially! when there’s a world food shortage :-/

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Equality 333
    November 4, 2015

    I’ve not seen the show but a lot of people have been talking about it. It great this is being brought into the arena. I neve bother looking at the dates we have a sense of smell, taste and sight I use these to see if my food it ok!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. lindas garden and wildlife
    November 5, 2015

    Awesome post Liz thank you for sharing have a blessed day

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cryptic Garland
    November 5, 2015

    I am so anti “Use by” date markers. My daughter (18) has grown up with them all her life and it is just like the eleventh commandment. She even starts getting concerned if we are getting near the use by date. And it’s not the farmers’ fault if the vegetables are thrown away because they aren’t perfect – it is those huge money making machines called supermarkets. Great post – looking forwar to next one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      November 5, 2015

      Thank you. It is crazy. There’s so much waste.


  5. Helen
    November 5, 2015

    I dislike supermarkets intensely and do my best to avoid them. I haven’t seen the programme, though I have heard about it – including the shocking statistic that so much food never gets eaten.

    If I can, I would like to see the programme on clothes. I shudder to think….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Eddy Winko
    November 7, 2015

    I managed to find a download of this online last night, after forgetting to watch it live, thank you for the reminder 🙂 I hope HSW has similar success with this as he has with other campaigns, it should be compulsorily viewing for all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      November 7, 2015

      That’s great. It’s crazy how modern behaviors fly in the face of reason. Throwing food away cos it doesn’t look good.


      • Eddy Winko
        November 7, 2015

        When I heard the bit that said the average family throws away about £700 worth of food every year I couldn’t help thinking that £700 feeds us for 4 months! (that’s a family of three) People clearly have too much money!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. LorraineGardens
    November 7, 2015

    Nice post. I’ll take a look at the programme. Also, there’s a good podcast on BBC Radio iPlayer from Costing The Earth which looks at this issue. You may want to have a listen.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. sarucrochet30
    November 9, 2015

    Great post! I think schools could do their bit too in the classroom. I’m 30 and when I was at school our food tech lessons consisted of shortbread, apple crumble and pizza (and I was the only one in the class to actually make the pizza base!).
    I think if kids got taught how to cook a chicken, how to make a soup or a stew, then people would want to cook more, be more confidant in the kitchen and be less tempted to rely on ‘fast’ food and maybe be less wasteful. Just a thought…:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      November 9, 2015

      Unfortunately though, schools aren’t given any opportunity to find time in the curriculum. It’s infuriating.


  9. Mike Evans
    November 21, 2015

    Just catching up on blog reading after my meditation retreat. Goodness knows how much some people must throw away to make up the average – because we certainly don’t waste 40% We bake our own bread, grow a fair proportion of our veg and cook most other things from scratch. It’s not that we are some sort of fanatics – it’s just the way I was brought up.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on November 4, 2015 by in grow your own, recycling, Reduce, self sufficiency, thrift.

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