or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Wasted Food Supply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Wasted Food Supply

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

www.foodwastemovie.com 

I'm hoping I linked this correctly. 

I had no idea we waste that much food. As this site reaches so many people interested in food, I thought I'd share. 

This has to change. 

post #2 of 25

I can confirm that the link works.

 

Yes this is a big problem. 

by the way, France has recently passed a law against food waste in supermarkets.  As the article states it's not the best solution but it's a step in the right direction.

 

http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/france-passes-new-law-forbidding-food-waste.html

 

I just noticed I can stream the whole movie for free in Canada!.. (usually Canadians are banned from US streaming sites, it's the first it's the other way around for me)

 

Luc H.

I eat science everyday, do you?
Reply
I eat science everyday, do you?
Reply
post #3 of 25

It is sad really as I have known about this when I was a kid growing up on a ranch farm and then worked at Overwaitea Food for a year as a teen (which is now Save-On-Foods. That was almost 30 years ago now. The waste was extraordinary then and even more so now. We are wasting now today almost half of our food supply (40% in the movie but some say it could be higher) that is perfectly good to use in all types of sauces, soups, etc. If you think it is bad at the store level, you have to see it at the farmers level. The fields are full of great food that could be used to feed hundreds of thousands of people but they deem it unsatisfactory to send to stores based on its appeal. It is BRUTAL. Here we are today, saying that we need things like GMO foods and the like to feed the world when ultimately WE as consumers are the ones to blame for being picky with what are food looks like. I can understand if one needs something perfect and whole in order to serve it perfect and whole but if you are slicing or chopping it up, the looks do not make the food any less tasty.

 

I was at the farmers market the other day and at the booth I was buying fresh produce. The farmer puts into bags the "ugly" looking food and discounts it a bit. Nothing wrong with the food just does't look good with some spots, etc. I was right in the process of buying some of those bags and a person right beside me says out loud: "Eww, why would you buy that food. It looks like there is something wrong with it." Needless to say I was gobsmacked for a second and then asked them why they thought there was something wrong with it. They, of course, replied with pointing out the disfigurement and spots. I simply shrugged my shoulders and said the outside doesn't dictate the inside flavour.....kinda like us in a way. 

Every year, our family and friends get together and go gleaning for all the ugly food and use it in tons of our canning and so on as well as drop it off at the local food banks. We bring in thousands of dollars worth of perfectly good food. It is slowly gaining movement with more friends of friends now participating. It is hard work but the farmers are right on board with it and are thankful tons of their food is not just going to waste. You would be surprised in realizing how many of our older generation have these beautiful older homes with fruit trees in their yard with fruit ripe that is falling on the ground and no-one to pick it for them. Right in the city! There are hundreds of pounds of fruit, one tree! Blows my mind we all don't think of this.....lol

 

This is just one's opinion from a lady who was born and raised on a ranch farm and knows how the food "industry" worked from the ground up. It was disgusting then as it is now. Off soap box.....hehe 

 

Great reads:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/food-trends/the-misfits-a-home-for-ugly-fruits-and-vegetables/article21640885/

http://theconversation.com/taste-over-waste-ugly-food-movement-winning-friends-38987

post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fablesable View Post

 

...Every year, our family and friends get together and go gleaning for all the ugly food and use it in tons of our canning and so on as well as drop it off at the local food banks....

I just finished watching the movie.  It touched on every subject that relates and is impacted by food waste including climate change due to methane formation by improper decomposition in waste dumps.  A very complete analysis.

 

Funny that the couple that challenged themselves to eating only salvaged food for 6 months actually gained weight and were never hungry. They rescued approx $20K worth of food! Their photo records are mind boggling.
 

I did learn a new term though, gleaning, as in harvesting by hand after mechanical harvesting and recuperating perfectly good produce out of the fields. Funny how when you learn a new word you come across it often after that as in the example @Fablesable used above (with a slightly different meaning yet similar)

 

Luc H.

I eat science everyday, do you?
Reply
I eat science everyday, do you?
Reply
post #5 of 25

Thank you @chefwriter for sharing this website. I wish I could watch the movie but alas, I am not in Canada. 

 

Some of the facts I have gathered by following some of the links provided here:

 

• We produce enough food in the world to feed 12 billion people (world population = 7 billion)

• 1 billion people are malnourished. 

• 1/3 of the food produced in the world is either discarded lost (2011 FAO report). 

• In the EU, nearly 1/2 of the food safe for consumption is discarded. 

• In the EU, it is estimated that the food waste will increase by 40% by 2020. 

• In the USA, consumers throw away 1/5 of the food they purchase.

• The percentage of wasted food has doubled since 1974. 

• Food is routinely discarded to control prices.

• By law, non perishable foodstuff like water, salt, some dried foods, cans etc...  require an expiration date and are discarded when the expiration date is reached. 

• Fruit/Vegetable/Roots calibration results in 20% of the total food wasted.

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

     As I'm in the US I can't yet see the video either but I watched the trailer and got the gist of it, which alarms me greatly. The picture that really caught my attention was the one of a dumpster full of perfectly good hams. All those animals killed for nothing. 

 On the website I saw that you can hold screenings in your area and I'm planning on doing that as soon as possible for as large a crowd as possible. There is also a Facebook page by one of the film makers called wasted food. I'll be searching for more on line info. 

     That doesn't strike me though as doing nearly enough. Given the systemic nature of the problem, much of our society will have to change its' ways. As FableSable pointed out, changing perceptions in the public's mind about what kind of food is acceptable will be a big part of it. 

   I think I may have just discovered my next mission in life. Now that I am aware if it, I won't be able to let it go. 

So rather make this a long rant, I'll simply ask "What else can we do?" 

post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefwriter View Post
The picture that really caught my attention was the one of a dumpster full of perfectly good hams. All those animals killed for nothing. 

That particular scene was not treated in the movie only because dumpsters filled of perfectly good food seems to be common because they find so many in the movie.

 

A couple of statistics that jumped out at me are (********spoiler alert********):

 

in total tonnage, the biggest percentage of wasted finish foods are fruit and vegetables. Farmers complain that they throw away so much food because of aesthetics, too big, too small or in the case of bananas truckloads are dumped because they don't respect the perfect standard curvature established by supermarkets. Also farmers can't give their waste away since farms are too far away from urban areas.

 

From a point of view of resources wasted, like water and energy, meat is by far the biggest culprit when it comes to waste.  An expert declared that tossing one hamburger is comparable as wasting the amount of water equivalent to taking a 90 minutes shower.

 

There are so many things that can be done as an individual but mindsets need to be changed to make a real impact.

 

Luc H.

(edited to correct typos and added details for clarity)


Edited by Luc_H - 6/18/15 at 7:45am
I eat science everyday, do you?
Reply
I eat science everyday, do you?
Reply
post #8 of 25
post #9 of 25
I know I throw away a lot of food.
I feel terribly guilty about it but what to do?
It is illegal to donate open containers and leftovers from a private home.
A guy from one of our local churches was feeding street people a few times a week and was ticketed for not having the proper HD permits.

Insanity!

mimi

I worry constantly about the kids on free school lunches.
Except for a very few lucky enuf to make the cut and get on my county's " lunch bag" program they go hungry all summer long.

m.
post #10 of 25

@jake t buds as the article mentioned land fills are overflowing with wasted food a compostable material.

A couple years back, Montréal started to collect residential compost waste (already well established in Europe). Since it's relatively new for us, I can attest that since we separate recycling and now compost out of our waste, our weekly volume of garbage has gone down by 70 to 80%. I wouldn't have a problem if garbage was collected every second week to compensate some transportation cost.

At the very least, kitchen scraps should go to composting not land fills.

 

I like the "underdog produce section" for supermarkets suggested in the article.

 

Luc H.

I eat science everyday, do you?
Reply
I eat science everyday, do you?
Reply
post #11 of 25

Such an important topic! I feel genuinely happy that @chefwriter brought this up in a post. Thank you @chefwriter!! This is truly a passion and focus of mine as well.

 

I think that if we keep this in constant focus in the forefront of our minds we can do something to make a difference. I know the numbers make it seem impossible but it is the little things we can do all by ourselves that will change the tide. This means we need to take more time to pre-plan our food for the week, quit being impulsive shoppers, and when we have to shop.....ask for culled food at the supermarkets or get the "ugly" food from the farmers markets. That is just what ONE person can do. Imagine if we started to plan, can, glean and clean with our friends and family? The two people in the film saved $20,000 dollars worth of food from the landfills and spent only $200 in 6 months being mindful. That is JUST TWO PEOPLE! Getting involved with friends, neighbours and family as chefs and food enthusiasts......we can create our own underground food chain that helps all and our pocketbooks. I make a ton of stock, sauces, soups, salsas......you name it.....when I get all this stuff from the farmers and grocers. I then give away or sell to many friends or neighbours that do not have the time to put healthy stuff together but really want REAL homestyle cooking. (yes, I am insured and utilize a local restaurant kitchen even though I have my bakery). The chef/owner at the local kitchen I use for these products is now totally on board and volunteers with us when we glean and prepare food. You would be amazed at how much it really hits home with a lot of people. The majority of people today in North America struggles to put a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs and healthy food in their stomachs. The food conscious way of living is a game changer!

 

@flipflopgirl Take a moment of your extra time when you have it and get a hold of the local school district to which you live. Ask what their quota and numbers are for kids lunches program. Then put together a more sound, quality oriented, healthy and cost effective lunch program and propose to the district. Or start your own little kids lunch program out of a local community hall kitchen utilizing the "ugly" food from the farmers or supermarkets. Even a few days a week of a few hundred healthy bag lunches makes a difference if you can take a wee bit of time to get something together. As a professional baker you will have an advantage as you have the proper documented Food Safe certificates that the Health Department looks for. Of course, this is only a suggestion and I completely understand that it does take more time and energy then we have sometimes so I am just throwing stuff out there........lol :peace:

 

Okay okay, I am rambling as I feel so excited that there are more people out there in the Cheftalk world that wish to make a difference as well!!! :bounce: (I am literally doing this!! lmao)

post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 

Fablesable; You're welcome.

     I'm happy to bring it to everyone's attention and very pleased to know it  is well received.

      I will continue to bring it to the attention of everyone in my area. While I agree that we can each do our part, I think that since I didn't know about it despite my fascination with food, many more people don't know either. As Luc pointed out, changing mindsets will be important. 

     To that end, I have contacted two local friends in the film industry about getting the film shown here. We will attempt to have as many influential people as possible at the showing and make it a very public  event.  Being that this is also the Capitol of NY, I'm hoping a few legislators and politicians can attend as well. 

      I have a few other thoughts about how to go about spreading awareness but will welcome other suggestions on addressing it.  While this bothers me on a professional level, I think it should bother everyone on a human level. Given the ongoing California drought, the recent egg shortages and so many other related issues, it certainly affects all of us, not to mention those in this country who can't get enough to eat.

 Okay, that's enough for tonight.  

post #13 of 25

I recently helped at my son's school, and I was there during the lunch break. I was appalled! Most kids barely touch their plastic-container-microwaved-airplane-food (I don't blame them) and if you stood by the trash, you would see kid after kid throwing away a nearly complete meal.

 

We need to start teaching our kids to respect food and not waste it. I do what I can at home but it's difficult to have much impact at school. Or maybe I'm not sure how to do it. I've tried to talk to other parents but most of them have other preoccupations...

 

My local supermarket has a tiny section with bruised produce that you can buy for nearly nothing. I often have a look and can sometimes find great bargains, and the produce is usually in near perfect condition. 

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post

I recently helped at my son's school, and I was there during the lunch break. I was appalled! Most kids barely touch their plastic-container-microwaved-airplane-food (I don't blame them) and if you stood by the trash, you would see kid after kid throwing away a nearly complete meal.

We need to start teaching our kids to respect food and not waste it. I do what I can at home but it's difficult to have much impact at school. Or maybe I'm not sure how to do it. I've tried to talk to other parents but most of them have other preoccupations...

My local supermarket has a tiny section with bruised produce that you can buy for nearly nothing. I often have a look and can sometimes find great bargains, and the produce is usually in near perfect condition. 

I try to visit each of the younger Grands during Texas School Week every year.
There is an option for the adult visitors to "super size it" for an upcharge.
This last March the menu choice was some gorgeous fried chicken or a chef salad.
I wouldn't know how it tasted because I use this once yearly meal to see where our tax dollars are being wasted.
My tray had a fried frozen burrito some canned corn and a quarter slice of a beaten to crap dried up orange.

REALLY?

No wonder these kids are bringing food from home.
The chocolate 2% milk was good so I suppose that counts.

mimi

Why do I only eat with my elem age kids?
OMG wouldnt want to mortify the elder Grands lol.

m.
post #15 of 25

This is why I mentioned a change of mindset.  We live in a society where fruits must have a basic shape for ridiculous gadgets to work properly.

like this banana slicer:

 

 

http://recode.net/2015/06/20/amazon-upgrades-its-review-software-keeps-banana-slicer-reviews-intact/

 

This pineapple slicer:

 

 

http://www.amazon.ca/All-Ware-Stainless-Pineapple-De-Corer/dp/B000GA53CO

 

Corn:

you get the idea...

 

 

Luc H.

I eat science everyday, do you?
Reply
I eat science everyday, do you?
Reply
post #16 of 25
People need to grow food and learn how to cook it, then and only then will they gain some respect for the food they eat.

I'll watch the movie sometime thanks.
post #17 of 25

Don't want to hijack this discussion but I keep finding these gems of information:

This NPR PBS video on food waste is pretty good. (this is actually a good brief wrap-up of the movie subject).

 

Luc H.

I eat science everyday, do you?
Reply
I eat science everyday, do you?
Reply
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 

No hijacking. Thanks for adding to the discussion. Glad to see more news agencies are picking up on the story. hope it begins to spread. The more info the better. 

I'll be looking into this in my area and talking to some local farmers to see what they have to say. Around here the harvest has begun for various fruits and vegetables. I do u-pick every summer but never thought to ask about this. And I'll be talking to the Food banks and soup kitchens to see what we can do. 

post #19 of 25

Just checking on this subject!!!

(bumping it of the first page hee hee)

 

In humour one can also drive the point real hard:

John Oliver on the subject of food waste.

 

Luc H.

I eat science everyday, do you?
Reply
I eat science everyday, do you?
Reply
post #20 of 25

Ahhh yea....Love watching Last week with John Oliver.....brilliant!! 

 

I have been busy watching all the awesome movies and documentaries on FMTV (Food Matters Television) ;-)

post #21 of 25

The problem has to do with not the source, but the seller to the consumer.

This means super-markets, and food establishments.

I've seen food establishments throw away perfectly good food, that was missing an ingredient, or had something the person didn't want...

I remember going to pick up some sliced turkey from the supermarket.  I asked for a pound of turkey, and when it weighed 1.11lbs or so, they literally took off a few pieces, threw it in the trash, and re-weighed it...

I said "I would have taken the extra amount, there was no need to throw it away..."  Seriously, perfectly good meat, that had NO BUSINESS in the trash.

But "Company policy....."

Food establishments are just as bad.  Someone gets a meal, doesn't even touch it, notice that it's missing something, they will throw it away, and then make it again.  I ate at this place once, they forgot the shrimp/crab in my meal, so I told them.  They took my plate back, and gave me a brand new meal..... with 2 shrimp.  Seriously, you couldn't just give me 2 shrimp, some crab and call it a damn night?  Na, throw away a perfectly good meal, and replace it...  


Granted the replacement was also missing  "the crab...." (like in the first meal), and as if on cue the waiter tells me "It's shredded crab, you wont see it..."

reminds of me of the time someone got a dish of "crispy bacon wrapped shrimp" or "shrimp with crispy bacon..."  Got the shrimp dish, with no bacon, and tells the waiter.  The waiter comes back and says "the chef told me it's bacon dust...."  So he says "Crispy....bacon dust?"  Yeah... that didn't go over well :P.

Is this the secret chef move for when they forget something in the meal?  "Yeah it's invisible, but it's there..." :D.

post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by LasagnaBurrito View Post
 

The problem has to do with not the source, but the seller to the consumer.

Actually the problem is much more widespread than that. It has to do with the source, with the distribution chain, and with the consumer. There is waste at all stages. 

 

post #23 of 25

@Luc_H --Re: Gleaning-- Des glaneuses--The Gleaners-- is a famous 1857 painting by Millet. It portrays 3 rural French peasants hand picking stray grains of wheat from a harvested field. It was not received well by French high society which did not want to look at pictures of poor people engaged in subsistence labor.

post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoTerry View Post
 

@Luc_H --Re: Gleaning-- Des glaneuses--The Gleaners-- is a famous 1857 painting by Millet. It portrays 3 rural French peasants hand picking stray grains of wheat from a harvested field. It was not received well by French high society which did not want to look at pictures of poor people engaged in subsistence labor.


Thanks for that reference!

I know the painting you are referring to (I thought it related to the Great Depression) but did not know it was actually called gleaning (in French) or that there was a French word for gleaning or gleaners nor the background story.

 

looks like there was an award winning French documentary/movie at the Cannes film festival in 2000 on modern day gleaners as well.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0247380/

 

I learn something new today... Thanks again!

 

Luc H.

I eat science everyday, do you?
Reply
I eat science everyday, do you?
Reply
post #25 of 25

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Wasted Food Supply