Dead Food

Earlier in the week we talked about landfill and today we want to go to the start of this journey, food. We have a massive problem with food in the UK, something we covered in The Guardian earlier this year, the photo below highlight this. This was taken in one of those rare moments that we ate out, we were out in a pub restaurant celebrating Carol's parents Ruby Anniversary, and this was left by a couple on the table next to us. A bit shameful isn't it? Just look at that burger, quarter eaten, and those chips, not even touched and then consider what went into making this plate of food.

Why dead food could finish us off.

A cow died to produce this burger, a pig for the bacon on top, milk was taken to produce the cheese, those potatoes took months to grow, that wheat grown hectare after hectare over a season, that yeast cultivated just right in a factory and all of these operations had to overcome disease, blight, viruses, infections and bacteria that could have finished off a herd of cows, a drift of pigs, soured the milk, turned the cheese, blighted the spuds, rotted the wheat in the field and buggered the yeast dead. This, my friends, is a plate of dead food. It is a food destined for large blue bins behind the restaurant, food that largely goes to landfill, food that isn't even fit to be eaten by pigs. Which is maybe why the young couple eating it left it but why they left it is an interesting problem. They ate a large starter first, the starter looked tasty and was indeed large, even for two of them and the soda drinks were copious at the start of their meal. Just so you know, we aren't stalking this couple, we didn't put them off their food by tutting and shaking our heads in that condescending manner that exasperates youth being wasted on the young. This was their meal, and their reasons for leaving it will be left with them. The problem though remains of how as a nation we view food, and how we still largely view it as a fast thing which leads to us seeing food as a disposable commodity. Food has either become junk or pornography, and at each end of the spectrum it has become a thing to use and throw away. The more food has become detached from us, the more problems we'll have, food is thrown away but the tills still register that we have purchased beef, pork, cheese, bread and potatoes. It becomes a sick game of demand and supply. Those tills keep a ringing and those stock lists demand more meat, more wheat, more butter and more potatoes. The prices at the till may go up but the prices for the farmer goes down because the market becomes saturated with meat, with wheat and spuds because the tills demand it. But you have thrown it away and because there will be more of it available, the cycle continues, and dead food comes off the supermarket conveyor belt and straight into the bin. Sooner or later all that effort put into making sure that beef, pork and wheat is harvested in high yields is going to end up in a dead food chain, and we're at the top of it often eating empty chemicals to bolster the taste of dead food.