SEEING RED: We all have a duty to stop wasting food

Food waste
Food waste

Food, glorious food, so the song goes.

Of course, Food, Glorious Food is the opening song from hit musical Oliver! and is sung when the workhouse boys are dreaming and fantasising about food.

And, although the days of the workhouse are long gone, there are people in some parts of the world dying from starvation, while here in Britain, far too many are reliant on foodbanks.

It’s amazing and shocking to think both scenarios are still evident in 2017 – particularly foodbanks in a country which is considered to be one of the wealthiest.

The need for foodbanks is especially sickening at a time when there appears to be so many people wasting food – be it in our own homes, or restaurants.

How many times have you done the weekly shop and, a few days later, discovered the piece of lamb shank you bought is several days out of date?

It is annoying, but also unacceptable.

Earlier this year the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee said 7.3 million tonnes of food was wasted in UK households in 2015.

The revelation prompted several recommendations – including whether “best before” dates were needed.

Somewhat staggeringly, one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally – and in the UK more than £10 billion worth of food is thrown away by households every year.

Food waste costs the average person in the UK £200 per year, the committee report said.

The figures are shambolic in isolation, but against a backdrop of a growing use in foodbanks it makes it even more scandalous.

However, it’s not just in our homes where we can do our bit.

I was in a restaurant – see photograph, right – where a family sitting on a table nearby left plates still heavily populated with food.

It was simply astonishing, so much so, I took the photo and it triggered me into writing this very column.

The committee report I mentioned earlier recommended that ministers should work with restaurants on reducing waste by offering smaller portions, reducing the amount of sides and encouraging the taking home of leftovers.

Who’d have thought the use of “doggy” bags would be one solution to a very serious issues?

I’m sure it will go down a storm in some of the nation’s finest Michelin-starred eateries.

But if it helps to cut the volume of food waste, then surely it has to be a good thing?

As the song says, food is glorious – but let’s not waste it.

- It’s that time of year – a phrase I seem to be saying a lot of in recent weeks – when folk seem to be in competition to moan about Christmas adverts appearing on our TV screens in mid-November.

But some have gone one better this year.

They are moaning about Muslims and Sikhs appearing in Christmas adverts.

How pathetic. Can you imagine having a life like that?