Posts Tagged ‘food waste’

Food waste by Morrisons

September 15, 2016

Morrisons Cafe in Aldershot, used to late afternoon, mark down their cakes to ensure none left.

Not anymore. Now official edict, no cakes to be reduced until last hour.

Staff used their initiative, judged when to mark down the cakes. They shifted the cakes, no waste.

But it appears, initiative is not welcome in Morrisons.

An overpaid fool descended on the local Morrison store, threw a wobbly when he saw cakes reduced half an hour before the official sanctioned mark down time.

Now one would think, this overpaid fool would have better things to occupy his mind, like service, strategy, that the food served in this cafe is often disgusting, but no, cakes reduced half an hour too early. He should have been praising the staff for showing initiative, not criticising.

For the sake of making the price, Morrisons would rather see food waste than stock cleared.

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Community Shop

December 14, 2014
Community Shop

Community Shop

The UK is the most unequal western country. The rich during recession have seen their income double, the poor have seen their income stagnate or decline. Austerity is used as an excuse for Shock Doctrine, slash and burn of public services, cuts to welfare payments, the poor and the sick punished for the sins of the bankers. Those on benefits, apart from cuts, are being repeatedly sanctioned on a whim by sick bastards in Job Centres who take a sick pleasure in seeing others suffer.

ConDem government job creation consists of low paid, part time, temporary, de-skilled, zero hours McJobs. The working poor. Bad employers are being subsidised by the taxpayer.

Fuel and food inflation has risen faster than the rest of Europe.

No surprise then that Food Banks are the fastest growing sector of the economy.

Dating from Medieval times, maybe going back to Biblical times, gleaners would go in after a harvest and glean what was left from the fields.

Supermarkets, rather than bear the costs of surplus food when overstocked, reject food supplies on a whim. Cornish pasties rejected when delivery 17 minutes late, ten tonnes of tomatoes rejected wrong size. Produce often never leaves a field, the farmer then left to plough the crop back in or feed to animals, either a very expensive green manure or very expensive animal feed.

A bread shop in Farnham, end of the day, the bread is thrown away. Similarly with a bread shop cum café in Farnborough.

Coffee shop Harris + Hoole in Guildford at the end of the day throws its food away.

Supermarkets, what they cannot sell, goes in the skip.

Community Shop offers a better solution than Food Banks, it takes rejected food stock, otherwise quality food, and puts it on its shelves, sells at a third of market price to its members.

Community Shop is an example of the sharing gift economy, collaborative commons, the fastest growing sector of the economy, but in the main below the economic radar as does not contribute to GDP.

We need more local businesses like Community Shop, that work in the collaborative commons, that retain and recycle money within the local economy.

TechStart in Aldershot, takes in surplus computers, refurbishes, re-sells at low price, net café, computer repairs, training.

Skipchen in Bristol takes surplus food, turns into delicious meals on a pay-what-you-can-afford.

Transition Community Cafe in Fishguard takes in surplus food, turns into low-priced delicious meals.

Bristol Skipchen surplus food cafe

December 7, 2014
Bristol Skipchen

Bristol Skipchen

Bristol Skipchen is a wonderful idea.

Intercept food that would otherwise go to waste, turn it into delicious meals, then pay-as-you-want.

You can give nothing, you can pay what you think it is worth or what you can afford, you can volunteer.

If no payment made, it is not classed as a loss, better to eat the food than it going to waste.

Bristol Skipchen is a far better idea than food banks.

An excellent example of the gift economy, collaborative commons.

We need more community ventures that treat people as people, not as zombie consumers.

Transition Community Cafe

June 29, 2014
food preparation at Transition Community Cafe

food preparation at Transition Community Cafe

It was whilst out scavenging for vegetables for her hens, and seeing the amount of food going to waste, the idea of Transition Community Cafe came to Ann Bushell. Why not set up a community business that turns waste into a resource, and in doing so supplies delicious meals to the local community at a reasonable price?

The local Coop provided an unused building, volunteers and local businesses helped get it kitted out and up and running.

For a householder, waste is something you put in your wheelie bin, and think no more about it. For a local business, there is a cost incurred in disposal. Anything that helps cut that waste, or will take it off your hands for free, is a cost saving, and is therefore welcome.

  • an empty shop put back into use
  • food waste turned into a resource
  • healthy meals at low cost
  • revitalisation of a town centre
  • meeting place
  • recycling money within the local economy

Due to the variable nature of the ingredients, there is no fixed menu at Transition Community Cafe, it depends on what is available that day.

I have seen the amount of waste generated by food businesses, they seem to be happy to throw it away, and incur a cost in doing so, rather than take steps to reduce the waste.

I have suggested to Harris + Hoole Guildford, that left over food that would otherwise be thrown away, goes to a needy charity. This now happens, but that with a very short shelf life, still gets thrown away. Need to have offers at the end of the day. Buy a coffee and get a free savoury.

A bakery, sadly no longer in Guildford High Street, used to have a queue last half hour. Why, loaves of bread were half price.

Baker in Godalming, does buy one get one free. Far better, half price.

I do not know if they still do, Food For Thought in Covent Garden, used to give their scones and flapjacks to late customers to take away.

A deprived area like Aldershot, empty boarded-up units and fast food joints, poor diet, obesity. It cries out for a community venture like Transition Community Cafe, which also recycles money within the local community.

There is a cost to local councils in waste. It is therefore in their interest to support community ventures such as Transition Community Cafe.

Transition Community Cafe opened June 2013. Between the beginning of June and the end of September 2013 the project achieved the following:

  • Surplus food acquired and kept from landfill – approx 100 kilos/week
  • Food cooked and sold in the cafe – approx 50 kilos/week
  • Food sent for composting, or to a bio-digester or to animal feed (when it has not entered the cafe nor come into contact with animal by-products) – approx 50 kilos/week

Transition Community Cafe is located in Fishguard in Wales. It was a Transition Bro Gwaun community initiative.

Transition Community Cafe is an excellent example of collaborative commons, sharing economy in action.

Italian diet, food waste and better food practice

September 12, 2013

The last decade, as a direct result of austerity measures, the Italian diet has seen a marked change.

An increase in pasta and rice, a marked decrease in meat, fish, cheese, fruit and vegetables.

More Italians are now eating at home and preparing their own meals. A third of Italians now bake their own bread and pizzas.

An artisan loaf of bread in Milan costs 4-5 euros.

One baker has reported a 50% drop in business.

Less waste, leftovers are being recycled into the next meal.

As a child, I remember, roast dinner on a Sunday, then on the Monday, cold meat, left over potatoes fried.

We have become too accustomed to cheap food, though in reality, there is no such thing as cheap food, we simply externalise the costs.

Supermarkets encourage waste. When Waitrose offers a bag of peas at a highly inflated price of £2-99 and on special offer two bags for £3-00, we know something is wrong, very wrong.

As the cost of food rises, real wages fall, maybe once again, we will learn to appreciate food.

Latest cookbook from Jamie Oliver, is Save with Jamie, how to cook simply, cheaply, how not to waste food. Only problem is the book has a cover price of £26.

In Italy cookbooks by Jamie Oliver, including, to my amusement, Italian cooking.

It is scandalous when fake indie coffee shop Harris + Hoole aka Tesco, throws out perfectly good food at the end of the day.

Gleaning was a mediaeval practice, farmers left corners of their fields for the poor to glean. Modern day gleaners pick and take away for what the farmer has no market.

Parish churches, often have parish halls with excellent kitchens and excellent cooks. Why do they not once a week, arrange for waste food to be collected, meals knocked out to show what can be achieved? The meals are free (with a donation to that week’s good cause) and trainees learn from the cooks.

Indie coffee shops are offering ‘suspended coffee‘, an act of random kindness, one person offers a coffee, some else collects. This could be extended, at the greengrocer, a ‘suspended banana’. Maybe with the help of volunteers, one day a week, they put on a meal put together from donated food waste, or maybe once a month in rotation with other indie coffee shops. Restaurants could do they same eat lunch time if they usually only opened in the evening.

Appalling food waste by Harris + Hoole

August 19, 2013
Harris + Hoole

Harris + Hoole

I was walking down North Street, en route from the Castle Grounds to St Saviour’s Church where Canon Andrew White was giving the sermon, when I stuck my head in Harris + Hoole, aka Tesco.

I was curious, was their coffee organic and/or Fairtrade. I could see nothing to indicate either.

I was shocked to find they were throwing out all their food, perfectly good sandwiches, sausages rolls. They did not appear to be throwing out cakes, but maybe they had not got that far.

Not only is this an appalling waste of food, adds to global warming (as probably goes to landfill), they have to pay for it to be disposed off.

I asked why did they not give it away, or sell off half price, or say buy a coffee and get a free sandwich?

But please, when the fastest growing sector of the economy is food banks, when we have a growing problem of waste, please do not throw away good food.

They said yes, good ideas, and will pass to management. Being a chain, no doubt has to go to head office, people are never encouraged to think, show initiative.

The staff were very pleasant and friendly, and asked did I wish to stay. I said no, as I was on my way somewhere. But even had I not been on my way somewhere, I would not have wished to stay, because apart from the fact that it is a fake indie coffee shop, it is just is not pleasant.

How can anyone relax, enjoy a coffee, with a ghastly pop radio station blasting out?

I had meant to ask at St Saviour’s, did they have any links with food banks, could they make an arrangement to distribute this food that was otherwise going to waste. I am sorry to say that sadly I forget.

It does though yet again, expose that Harris + Hooe is a chain, not an indie coffee shop and they like to pretend. Nor are they community oriented as they like to pretend. If they were, they would be making arrangements to see that this food was put to good use.

Next time I pop by, apart from taking up the ideas I have suggested, I will suggest, that if they still have left over food, they link up with a local food bank.