Creating a meal for 30p whilst helping to eliminate food waste
On the blog that preceded ‘The Steeple Times’, Matthew Steeples wrote this article in December 2011. We republish it here given the response we’ve had to our article on food poverty and the comments of Jamie Oliver and Jack Monroe.
Yesterday evening I produced a superb supper for 30p. Though this figure excluded a few condiments, I was extremely surprised by what can be achieved without spending a small fortune.
I had headed to the Knightsbridge branch of Marks & Spencer Simply Food at 9.30pm just before it closes at 10pm and found items galore that were reduced to just 10p. As a result of their desperation to get rid of items that are close to the end of the best before date, I was able to buy perfectly good sausages, potatoes and a side of stuffing for 30p. Other items on offer included apple pies, fishcakes and a whole array of vegetables.
The lady at the checkout, when I muttered surprise at how much food in the store was reduced to such a low price, informed me that this was a daily occurrence and that anything that was left over when the store’s doors shut would be given to homeless charities. Marks & Spencer should be commended for this attempt to stop waste at this time of economic misery.
Amazingly and impressively, Harrods also get in on this act. At 7.30pm at night, one can often find their deli counters reducing delicious fresh food by as much as 50% in an effort to sell them before the store closes.
A campaign I find most worthy is Love Food Hate Waste. Highlighting the 7.2m tonnes of food that could be eaten that the British throw away each year, Love Food Hate Waste’s website points out that if this was stopped the CO2 impact would be the equivalent of taking 1 in 5 cars off the road. That the average family with children waste approximately £680 a year throwing away food that they don’t use should be economic incentive to make them think before they bin.
Equally appalling is that half of all fish caught in the North Sea are thrown overboard. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has done a sterling job of bringing this mammoth waste to public attention through his Hugh’s Fish Fight campaign and 769,000 have signed his petition so far.
“Waste not, want not” is indeed a motto we should all adopt.
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