'tis the Bearded One

Food Waste...

6 posts in this topic

I recently watched a mini series on waste in Australia "War on Waste" by ABC TV. Had some interesting and sad info. The first episode focused on food waste and the cosmetic standards of produce retailers that see tons of good food thrown out because they didn't match some ridiculous cosmetic standard - which they say is from consumers. Bananas for example would be thrown out if too big, too small, too curved, too straight, too fat, too thin, freckled/marked....A crying shame really!

In my region there are a number of orchards and sometimes we can gets "seconds". Frankly, better and fresher than what you get in store! A few months ago was blueberry season here and we were able to get as many free blueberries as we would want. A fellow I know who worked on the farm was taking ute fulls home and feeding them to his cows...The farm had to dump dozens of tons of seconds and overproduction they couldn't process in time. Craziness... Here are a few pics of a load I got. Who the heck has a problem with massive blueberries? Mate, I love this region!

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We also got some mango seconds. The orchard has some 300 different varieties! Last year I got a selection of different varieties - the tastes were quite nicely diverse. And again better than store-bought because they are more naturally ripened. One variety, R2E2, gets really big fruit. "Too big" for the supermarkets so they have to pick them when they are small and nowhere near ripe so a lot of the natural sugars are lost :(. If they have marks they can't sell them or they get reduced payment. If they pick them when it is raining they get paid less (because they mark easier) - purchasers actually ring them to inquire if they are picking. Sad...

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So anyone else out there happy to eat less than perfect produce? Do you get seconds from someplace? What do you think of supermarket's cosmetic standards for produce? Dumpster diving - would you do it?

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On 3/8/2018 at 4:16 AM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

Who the heck has a problem with massive blueberries?

Not me, those are my absolute favorite. :D The smaller ones are too sour but make up the bulk at the grocery, unfortunately. The ones in your pictures are perfect.

On 3/8/2018 at 4:16 AM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

What do you think of supermarket's cosmetic standards for produce?

The phrase that comes to mind is, "we don't eat with our eyes." Especially with sizing, different varieties, and ripeness, those choices should be left to consumers whom inevitably have different preferences. Though, I can understand people's aversion to any that appear damaged or compromised. Stores probably don't want to carry those in order to protect their reputation for having quality produce.

On 3/8/2018 at 4:16 AM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

Do you get seconds from someplace?

No, there aren't many options where I live. I'm glad there are places people can buy seconds because food waste, or wastefulness in general, is disappointing to me.

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I read once that Del Monte canned peaches have quality standards for the shape of the peaches. For all the peaches that are too large, small, misshapen, whatever, Del Monte sells them as off-brand peaches. So if you want to save money and are okay with peaches that don't match the appearance standards, by the off-brand peaches.

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I used to work at a grocery store. We always wanted to donate as much food as possible to local food banks when it wasn't high enough "quality" to sell.

Huge amounts of perfectly fine meat and produce still got thrown out, however... Simply because if you donated something, somebody would lawyer up, claim they had food poisoning, and sue for as much as their lawyers thought they could get...

Most of the acceptable food that gets thrown out is simply thrown out because the grocery stores are worried about frivolous lawsuits.

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On 3/14/2018 at 4:38 PM, Dave1985 said:

Most of the acceptable food that gets thrown out is simply thrown out because the grocery stores are worried about frivolous lawsuits.

That is sad, though when it comes to things like high risk foods like meat then I can understand the concern. Yet I know from dumpster divers that some stores will lock their food bins. You'd think that someone who grabbed stuff out of your bin won't be able to sue you for eating out of it locked or unlocked... *eye-roll*

I know with food-drives that there is an issue with people donating out of date cans and its a cost on the charity to sort them all out. It doesn't bother me (generally) if something is out of date but they can't pass it on. I wonder if they differentiate between "use by" and "best before"...

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On 3/25/2018 at 3:34 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

I know with food-drives that there is an issue with people donating out of date cans and its a cost on the charity to sort them all out. It doesn't bother me (generally) if something is out of date but they can't pass it on. I wonder if they differentiate between "use by" and "best before"...

I admit I’ve done that before, and I’ve never really thought about the cost to the charities. Thanks for mentioning it.

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