I was both sad and reassured to read today that over 500,000 three-day emergency food packs (including 1.7million individual emergency meals for children) have been handed out in the first 6 months of this year. Sad that the poverty and inequality in our communities is at such a level that some people are having to use food banks in the first place; and reassured that these emergency support networks have been set up by organisations such as The Trussell Trust.
And the exponential rise of Food Banks over the past 10 years is quite shocking. In 2008/2009 25,899 three-day emergency food packs were distributed for the whole year. That increased to 346,992 by 2012/13! And now we are over and above that figure in only 6 months.
Yet conversely the UK wastes more food than any other country in Europe (!?) with UK households throwing away 13lbs of food weekly. More than 2 million tonnes of food is wasted by consumers preparing too much, while 3 million tonnes is thrown away when it passes its sell-by date. A large proportion of the food was found to be vegetables, fruit (the healthy stuff) and cereals due to their short shelf-life.
It just doesn’t add up 🙁
And from an environmental perspective avoidable household food waste is also associated with 17 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. Organisations like www.refood.co.uk provide a sustainable ‘closed-loop’ alternative – green energy from food waste.
Mmmm food for thought no doubt..
The solution is no doubt complex but I think perhaps I will aim to do the following: