In an effort to reduce food waste, Tesco, FareShare, and Jamie Oliver have launched an initiative to deal with the issue. Tesco is the UK’s largest supermarket, with over 3,400 stores in the country—meaning they produce a lot of food. Instead of throwing away the undesired produce, FareShare is teaching cooks how to use these unwanted ingredients in their dishes.
The UK currently attempts to reduce around 43,000 tons of excess food a year, and 100,000 tons of food are either thrown away, sent to energy plants, or made into animal feed. The food could’ve been 250 million meals, but it ended up in places other than someone’s plate. This problem needs to be solved because food waste is not only bad for our environment, but it is also a waste of resources; instead of feeding a family, edible food ends up in the garbage.
FareShare is an organization that redistributes excess food from supermarkets like Tesco and gives them to charities that feed those who are less fortunate than most. While this is good, cooks are sometimes confused when they receive large quantities of unusual produce from a retailer and don’t know what to make with them. The new program aims to train cooks to become more resourceful with food. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has volunteered to help with the creation of healthy recipes using the various types of ingredients the charities receive. As an advocate for healthy cooking, Oliver was more than happy to join the team in this endeavour.
If greatly successful, this initiative could be a new blueprint for other countries to follow. In the UK alone, nearly 2 million citizens could be undernourished, so MP’s are pushing for the creation of a minister for hunger. Instead of producing more food, finding ways to fully utilize the produce that’s already available may be a smarter way to deal with the situation.
The program could even extend to teaching home cooks how to use all the parts of any produce if it’s edible. This way, families save money and less food will be thrown away. However, most of the UK’s food waste comes from food manufacturers, the hospitality sector, and retailers, so addressing their wastefulness with food might be a more immediate issue that needs to be resolved.