Waste not want not

Food waste could be contributing to climate change

Food waste could be contributing to climate change

First published in Entertainment & Lifestyle

NO matter how fervently you believe, the fact is that the jury’s still out on the causes of climate change and whether it’s possible to do anything about it. Many tell us that it’s carbon-producing exhaust gasses, the burning of fossil fuels in general and the production of methane that’s supposedly warming the place up. Me, I find it rather complacent to think that our massively expanding world population isn’t going to change the climate in many ways – carbon fuel burning or not – just by actually existing. It’s also a dangerous arrogance to think that we can actually stop this change with environmental measures currently debated in the mainstream. King Canute and his wave-stopping foolishness springs to mind.

But there is an overwhelming argument for trying to reduce our fossil fuel usage; to make fuelsipping cars and introduce non fossil fuel-based power generation; to cut down the miles we have to transport our food. It’s simply that oil and coal is a finite resource. One day it’ll run out or get too expensive to extract from the ground. Sure, increases in demand and world wealth mean that there’s an incentive to keep finding new ways to get at the difficult stuff but there’s only so much of it. The pot will empty one day.

The trouble is that the last few generations have happily lived in wasteful societies. As countries have got richer, their populations have demanded more of everything, including fuel-sapping accoutrements to make them feel good; and you can’t blame the populations of the new emerging rich nations to want any different.

I took a recent trip to the US – the home of the gas-guzzler. But it’s not only petrol they guzzle. It’s appalling to see the amount of food the average American fatty will order, piled high on the plate, with half of it left to be thrown in the bin.

It’s a crying shame that they didn’t experience, as the UK did, the rationing of the Second World War.

Wealth has made many immune to waste.

I once saw a programme on telly where, over five days, the carcass of a dead hippopotamus was filmed, using motion sensing cameras, as it was eaten by different parts of the animal kingdom. It was fascinating in many ways but, most of all, because there was no waste.

Everything was used up and no part of the animal had died in vain because other parts of nature had extended their lives via its demise.

Without meaning to be dramatic, it’s what we try to do at Oldfields. By committing to use whole animals and all their bits, we can sell certain prime parts such as steaks for less than we might have to otherwise because we’re also getting money for the cuts that might normally be either thrown away or used for the production of pet food.

After all, why do you think pet food is so heavily promoted? It makes money from bits of animals that traditionally have been hard to sell; particularly such as offal.

As we frequently say at Oldfields: waste not, want not. Anyone can sell a steak. But it takes guts to sell the rest of the animal.

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