Wednesday, 17 May 2017

War on Waste - Week 1



Last night Craig Reucassel, of The Chaser fame, kicked off his three-part series, War on Waste and what an eye opener with a massive gobsmacked thrown in.

Did you know that Australia is ranked 5th highest for generating the most municipal waste in the world! 52 mega tonnes of waste is generated in a year and this number is just continuing to grow. Clearly change needs to happen - and fast!

The first part of the series delved into food waste and holy shit is there a lot of it! And not just the stuff households are throwing in the bin everyday, which apparently adds up to over $3000 worth of food a year, some food isn't even making it from the farm to the supermarket shelves. Seriously outrageous stuff.

Craig headed to North Queensland where he visited two banana farmers who were having to throw away tonnes and tonnes of bananas because they didn't meet the supermarkets specifications. Who the hell comes up with these specifications anyway? I mean, come on...too bendy, too long, too short, I can't believe there is such a thing. The farmers seemed to think it was being pushed by consumer behaviour. There needs to be a shift in this behaviour - #SizeDoesntMatter.



It seems Harris Farm and Woolworths are taking steps, albeit baby steps, towards fixing this issue and starting to sell "imperfect picks" and "odd bunches" respectively. These are the fruit and veg that don't meet the strict specifications of gorgeously glamorous and are being sold at a discount.

In other good news for food waste, some supermarkets and farms are also donating some of their surplus / unsold goods to places like OzHarvest and Foodbank, which are amazing initiatives.

However, we still have so very far to go.

As part of his investigation into food waste, Craig met up with the wonderful Julianne (that is her pictured below) to go dumpster diving - basically she dives into dumpsters behind supermarkets to grab the food they are throwing away. In the darkness of night they crept in and reclaimed freshly baked bread, eggs, fruit, veg and nuts. Don't be grossed out by this - most of it was all packaged and wrapped and well within the "use by date" (what the hell is that anyway?).

For more information on Julianne, check out - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-09/dumpster-diving-sunshine-coast-grandmother/8009018



He has also recruited several households from a street in the south of Sydney to aid his War on Waste investigations. Having shocked them with the contents of their garbage bins, highlighting the food and plastic bags they throw away each week, I can't wait to see what he has planned for them in the weeks to come.

It will also be extremely interesting to see what happens to the plastic bags that were put in the "Recycle your plastic bags here" boxes laden with GPS trackers - will they end up in a recycle centre or landfill??

If you didn't see the first part, please take the time to check it out - http://www.abc.net.au/ourfocus/waronwaste/

The takeaways from this episode were:

  • Ditch the plastic bags and use reusable bags when shopping #BanTheBag.
  • Only buy the food you need - if you do over buy, try freezing it (you can check out Sarah Wilson's Simplicious for tips) or share it with your neighbours or colleagues at work or parents at school. You can also check out this article for some tips, Planning grocery trips to minimise waste.
  • Petition Coles & Woolworths to ditch the specifications on their fruit and veg! Let them know that #SizeDoesntMatter and we want to #MinimiseWaste.
  • If you are brave enough, give Dumpster Diving a go.
  • Donate your time or money to places like OzHarvest and Foodbank.
  • Composting is an awesome way to minimise food waste - check out this post, The Compost Revolution.

Did you watch it? (You really, truly should)
What were your takeaways?

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