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to ask, who wastes all the food?

(149 Posts)
amigababy Tue 22-May-18 15:32:27

So Tesco is removing the best before dates on its own fruit and vegetables.
Wrap, the food waste body, say that in Britain families throw away £700 of food a year ( I've read that a few times over recent years). So for me that would equate to 10 full weeks of shopping every year, discarded. More, if I assume at least 10% of every weeks shop is non food items.

I reckon I throw away maybe a £ a week of food - half a bag of salad, a half tin of beans that sat in the fridge too long, the last slice of ham. So at worst say £60 a year. Who's throwing away all the rest to get to these averages? I want to understand.

HarrietKettleWasHere Tue 22-May-18 15:35:40

Well my DP used to before I gave him short sharp shrift about it. He would honestly go through his fridge and lob out a fillet steak if it'd have been past it's use-by by a few hours. Horrors. I nearly LTB over that.

I use loads of stuff past what the supermarket says, and never suffered any ill effects. You know if things are properly off. And fruit and veg can be used for weeks longer than the label says. Hate waste.

HarrietKettleWasHere Tue 22-May-18 15:36:33

Why he did it? Well because he thought he'd be struck down with severe food poisoning if he didn't.

itallhappensforareason Tue 22-May-18 15:37:44

I do continue to use fruit and vegetables past their best before date. Plus anything else that has a best before date rather than a use by date.

baxterboi Tue 22-May-18 15:37:59

My DP!!!!!!!!

He annoys me so much. Opens a new packet of something when there is still half a pack left. Leaves stuff covered in the back of the fridge so I don't know its there until it stinks to high heaven.

Buying more food on his way home when I have already done the main shop the day before.

It drives me mad. Don't get me started on recycling.

UrsulaPandress Tue 22-May-18 15:41:10

Me. I'm a crap shopper. Best before dates are of no interest to me but I am always discovering rotting food in the dark recesses of the refrigerator.

ToadOfSadness Tue 22-May-18 15:42:43

I suspect it is because people buy the newest dated stuff rather than the old and then Tesco reduce the older dated stuff by 5p and try to make it look like a bargain. Most of their fruit & veg reductions are bags of slime because they leave it as long as possible and no-one wants it. Other supermarkets reduce it in good time and it is priced to sell so not as much waste. Our Tesco is shit.

If none of it was prepacked in all the unnecessary wrapping people would just buy what they need and check it over and save buying the stuff that is manky on the bottom but you can't see until you get it home and then have to chuck the manky bits out.

HarrietKettleWasHere Tue 22-May-18 15:44:42

Yeah, my local Tesco sells those bags of stir fry with bean sprouts for 9p but you wouldn't feed that your chickens envy

GalwayWayfarer Tue 22-May-18 15:45:00

My MIL is very overcautious about food so she won't use something if it is even on the day of the best before date. She also does a full week of shopping at a time. That means that if her meal plan is disrupted for any reason she'll often bin something that wasn't eaten on the intended day, even if (to my mind at least) it's still absolutely fine. It's a bit mad!

Also I don't know about anyone else but once all my siblings and I had left home it took my mum a good 18 months to adjust to buying for 2 instead of 6! She wasted a huge amount until she'd got that under control.

AlonsoTigerHeart Tue 22-May-18 15:45:16

My parents.
They throw out about £10-£15 of meat or fresh every week

As an example
One week they binned out two 500g pack of mince (that days date as bbc)
Bag of mixed lettuce
Bag of rocket
Half a loaf of bread
2 rolls from a four pack
Potatoes because one had a tiny sprouty

All were fine but 'out of day's'

Mum also bins all bread,fruit and veg that's left on shop day to make space for the new.
She meal plans but if they go out for dinner she sometimes bins the 'spare meal'
The waste is staggering, my sister who lives on the next road goes and takes it all for her fridge

Mannix Tue 22-May-18 15:45:43

I agree with you that £700 seems ridiculously high. I think lots of people take best-before dates too seriously!

yellowmellw Tue 22-May-18 15:46:29

That's why I couldn't see some of them today. I think this is more for their own benefit because their dates are always so shit

SweetCheeks1980 Tue 22-May-18 15:48:02

We take no notice of best before dates, but for some reason fresh chicken goujons get wasted in our house. I'll do some for dinner and I always intend to freeze the rest but never do and the dogs end up having them after they've sat on the fridge for ages.

Caribou58 Tue 22-May-18 15:50:12

My parents.
They throw out about £10-£15 of meat or fresh every week

If it weren't for the fact that my Mum died last year, that could be me posting the whole of your post, AlonsoTigerHeart.

My Dad is now alone, but still spends about the same amount as he and Mum did on food and therefore chucks even more of it out. I could cheerfully swing for him each time he says the huge amounts of food I find uneaten in his fridge will "Do for t'birds" (these "birds" are feckin' great inland seagulls, who also crap all over my car whenever I visit).

At any given time, Dad has at least 4 different packs of cake opened, with a slice taken off and the rest left open to go stale, at least one whole loaf going green, etc etc. I might add that he's diabetic...

Murane Tue 22-May-18 15:50:39

I stick by dates for things like fish and shellfish because you can get really sick. Less so for other fresh food like meat (I'd go a few days over), and not at all for fruit, veg, or cupboard food (as long as it looks ok I eat it).

MissWilmottsGhost Tue 22-May-18 15:51:55

My DM.

She still buys enough for a family of five even though her children have left home and her husband is dead.

Most of it goes in the bin.

But generally I agree with yellow, they aren't doing it for our benefit.

NotNiceReally Tue 22-May-18 15:52:32

Well my DH has got OCD so he won’t eat anything ‘out of date’ as he thinks it will make him ill.

getawfmylaaaand Tue 22-May-18 15:52:34

My MiL.

She won't eat anything that's got a best before date on it as the next day. So today she'll go through her fridge and throw away anything that's dated tomorrow. She does this every single evening.

This would be fine, except she shops for 4 people (only her in the house) and throws away about a carrier bag full per day.

If it doesn't have a date on it, it can't be open/ in the house for more than 3 days. Even if the food is perfect, so for example banana's that are still too firm to eat will be chucked if she bought them more than 3 days ago.

I've pointed out to her numerous times that this level of waste is actually offensive and incredibly insensitive/ just wrong, but she doesnt accept it at all.

Luckily DH is the complete opposite!

Liberation1 Tue 22-May-18 15:53:44

I like the way Waitrose reduce their food - still on the correct shelf with the other, longer dated items like it only with a reduced sticker on. Other supermarkets where the reduced stuff is all piled into one section bashed to bits holds no interest to me because it looks awful.

I'd much rather look at the meat section for instance where all the other meat is and decide whether to buy the still nice looking meat with reduced sticker on to either use that day or freeze then go to a "reduced section " to find meat that's been bashed around along with yogurts/veg/olives etc all piled into one. The reductions are usually rubbish too - a bashed up pot of fruit salad with today's date on with 20p off hmm Mmm what a bargain confused

BananasAreTheSourceOfEvil Tue 22-May-18 15:57:00

My DP.

Honestly, he seems to think that the second it comes to the date on the packet, the contents turn to poison.

He's getting better but its soooo annoying to have him throw away perfectly good milk etc, it makes me really cross.

Whatever happened to common sense- looking at it, smelling it?

He doesnt know hes been eating reduced stuff for years now wink

WindyWednesday Tue 22-May-18 16:03:44

Me, I waste loads. I shop online and they like to offload their out of date food on me. I have to chuck loads that’s smashed in the bag, leaked over everything and ruined stuff. Eg Waitrose who decided to put a key lime pie on its side at the bottom of a bag, so all the cream and goo had leaked all over everything, making the cardboard soggy and contaminated all the contents. Most weeks I have a similar issue.

LizB62A Tue 22-May-18 16:04:19

I think they need to replace the "Best Before Date" with a date showing when it was put on sale. If I want to buy a week's worth of fruit, I really don't want to buy the stuff that's been sitting there for a week already.
Is that just me?!

SneakyGremlins Tue 22-May-18 16:05:03

I throw fruit/veg in the compost bin when it goes mouldy.

Out of date stuff, unless it's literally green I'll use it. If I won't use meat before it's expiry date it goes in the freezer, and it's fine even if defrosted a month later.

BabiesComeWithHats Tue 22-May-18 16:05:31

Interesting, i've often thought the same. I am a bit pathological about avoiding food waste, and will concoct increasingly complicated meals to try and use up things rather than chuck them.

I'm also a huge fan of waitrose and M&S for salads and fruit, as they seem to chuck their stuff around so much less and it lasts so much longer. I hardly ever throw bagged salad away now, when I used to just add it to a Sainsbirys or Tesco weekly shop at least half went in the bin.

Having said that, DH doesnt' really look at what's open before he opens something, or what's in the fridge before he shops which is why I don't let him shop and has no concept of meal planning.

And we will have weeks where one of us is suddenly away for work for a few nights and then there's 3 nights worth of meal planned food in the fridge, and it can't always be frozen.

BabiesComeWithHats Tue 22-May-18 16:06:14

Oh and completely agree with LizB. I want to know which packets are the most recent so I can meal plan around them!

must get out more

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