Wasted Food


I spotted a petition today that asks the Australian Government to force supermarkets to distribute out-of-date food to charities. It’s such an obvious solution, why haven’t we done this before?

This reminds me of an incident where we were stuck in Strathfield one evening due to trackwork. Sitting outside the Breadtop after 5pm and snacking on a couple of buns we’d bought, a staff member pulled out a bin from the back and began to throw away all of their bread that still remained. Some hungry passersby wanted to purchase some buns but were told that the store was closed.

Watching this pained me greatly - I wanted to march up and offer to take them all myself if they were shouldering the cost of throwing it all away anyway. In addition to this, it was clear the staff were happier throwing away the food than opening back up their cash register so that the food wouldn’t be wasted.

A solution that some food establishments implement is they leave food outside their closed store for people to just take at the end of the day, or have end-of-day sales so that everything is sold to people who can then put it to use. My dad has come home a couple of times, triumphant because he obtained some of this ‘free food’ that was left for anyone to take.

I can understand the supermarket mentality for not wanting to do for liability reasons, but directly passing this food to charities who can then make the judgement calls on quality and offer it to those that need it is perfectly acceptable to me. Bakeries and other establishments need to make their own call, but watching that bread tossed really brings a pain to my heart.

Well, I’ve signed the petition anyway, despite the fact I agree that the main body of the petition is somewhat vague in what it aims to do, but the name of the petition itself is clear. Regardless, let’s hope it brings positive change.

(As an aside, although so many things on change.org need signatures and there are so many petitions I could support, I try to save my signature for the ones I really, really feel strongly about, because I feel like the impact of a signature is diminished if you will freely sign anything just because someone asks. Do you think so? Or should you just sign everything you agree with because one more voice helps, no matter what?)