They say that when it comes to attitudes about smoking the most intolerant people are ex-smokers. One week on from starting my Love Food-Hate Waste craze I’m beginning to wonder whether I’m developing a similar intolerance to those who abuse food.
Cutting waste appears to be a minority sport which puts you on collision with the rest of society, if not large parts of the food industry. I seem to be developing a mental library of damming facts and statistics with which to rebuke people if they happen to offend.
My predicament is compounded by the fact that this initiative is not only about cutting waste, but about trying to develop a healthier relationship with food. In practice this means moving away from a diet rich in meat, dairy products and processed foods.
The short answer of course is that I haven’t – all I’m trying to do is move to a more resource efficient diet. This has got nothing to do with some misguided sentimentality about animal welfare or animal rights.
While I’m at it, why is it that whenever you mention the word ‘diet’ people automatically assume that you are trying to shed a few pounds in anticipation for that Christmas binge. In reality Love Food-Hate Waste is a drive towards a dietary lifestyle that is more environmentally sustainable. I might feel healthier as a result – but that is not the primary consideration for embarking upon this journey.
All in all though the first week has been easier than I thought. As with most things in life it’s about breaking engrained patterns of behaviour.
Anyway here are a few facts and statistics that might nudge you to reconsider your own relationship with food.
- In Sept 2010 the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs that 8% of dairy products goes to waste as does 8% of eggs, 13% of meat and fish, 17% of cereal products, 20% of fruit, 24% of vegetables and 32% of bread.
- A 2006 UN FAO report calculated that while it takes 500 litres of water to produce a kilogram of potatoes and 1,900 litres for a kilogram of rice, it takes 3,500 litres of water to produce a kilogram of poultry and 100,000 litres for a kilogram of grain-fed beef.
- A recent report by the UN Population Division and Goldman Sachs shows that within a generation China’s middle class will be 4 times larger than the US. By 2031 China’s meat consumption is expected to exceed that of the US, as its population will consume about four-fifths of current world meat production.
Happy eating, but remember Love Food-Hate Waste