Supermarkets are discarding hundreds of tons of food every year. What can be done to stop it, asks Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
At the Unity Youth Centre in Toxteth, Liverpool, chef Craig McKenzie rustles up free hot meals for a hall full of hungry children who’ve just put in a hard day at school.
What makes his job particularly satisfying is that he’s cooking with ingredients that would otherwise have gone to waste. There is nothing wrong with the food he’s using – it’s all good, fresh stuff – but it has been rejected by supermarkets.
These ingredients – including quality fruit, veg and meat – haven’t even made it to the shelves. They’ve been turned away before they get to the stores because there simply isn’t space for them. Overproduction, it turns out, is the very cornerstone of our whole food retail system. And it comes with a massive side-order of waste.