Tuesday, 27 March 2012


British households throw away 4.4m tonnes of edible food a year, estimates suggest - and bread is the most wasted provision of all. But why?
Because it goes stale. Next!

Oh, hang on! Here comes a chance to blame ‘modern society’:
"Freegan" Mark Boyle sees plenty of bread in rubbish bins when looking for free food, and thinks people have lost touch with the bread-making process.

"If you make something yourself, you've spent half an hour kneading the bread and then baking it, you don't
waste that bread because you know how much energy you've put into it," he says.

"But if you can pick up a loaf of bread for about 20p at the end of a day from a supermarket...
then you don't have the same respect for what you're consuming."
What the hell is all this ‘back to nature’ horseshit? You aren’t some grizzled old pioneer, living off the land by the sweat of your brow – you’re one step up from a stray dog or an urban fox!
So-called "rag-pickers" in Paris in the 1880s never wasted any bread scraps - they ate any clean bread they were given or sold it on to tradespeople, and used dirty bread to feed animals or as breadcrumbs that were sold back to restaurants.
Yes, indeed they did, but you know what we’ve got since then?

Hygiene laws. Health and safety edicts. The sort of things that ensure that when you go out to a restaurant for lunch, you aren’t taking your life in your hands.

I think most people would call that progress
Another way to reduce wastage is to freeze bread - so why are people not doing that?
What do you mean they aren’t? I do it all the time!

The BBC - It's the unique way it's funded....


Mr Eugenides said...

"Have respect for what you're consuming", urges man who rummages in bins for his dinner. Delightful.

Anonymous said...

20p for a loaf of bread? He's kidding isn't he? The cheapest I've seen recently is £1.25 and unlike some people the majority of us don't have the time to stand around baking bread whenever we fancy some cheese on toast. So I developed a system whereby I go to work for which I get some pieces of paper which I then exchange for bread from a nice lady who works as a baker.

Any which may be left long enough to go mouldy is not put in the rubbish but in the compost heap, which then fertilises my garden allowing it to grow other foodstuffs. Contrary to what you may have heard on the Beeb food does not disappear leaving a gaping hole in reality when thrown out, it may even feed a few birds an worms you greenies seem to value more than us humans.

Oh, and I never really respected my bread even when I made it that one time, I only told it that I did to get it into bed (bacon sarnies for breakfast if you're mind suddenly leapt to a smutty conclusion - one track minds some of you!)

Emeraldo Green said...

Freegan sounds like an Irish clan. Like Hooligan.

I rest my case.

Stonyground said...

We never throw food away. It all gets eaten, composted or fed to chickens. We used to have a bread making machine. It worked quite well and just baked bread is really nice but the bread would go stale very quickly so you had to eat it straight away.

Anonymous said...


I think you have to use more fat in the mixture to keep it fresh for longer.


Any supermarket at about 7.30pm has a ready supply of much reduced bread. Tomorrow's bread for me is Sainsbury's "Taste the Difference" Kalmata (sic) Olive bread reduced from £1.69 to 49p. Hopefully full of fat to keep it fresh!

And like you, I chuck anything uneaten or inedible onto the compost to help grow next year's stuff.

Paragraph three is awesome. Is bong water ever a problem? Messy to deal with during the day isn't it?

Hexe Froschbein said...

You're wrong about the need to bake your own bread though... you can't get decent rye/wheat sourdough bread here, and even worse than that, every bread you buy has soy flour mixed into it, and there is never enough salt in it either, plus the crusts are crap too, and the stuff goes stale real quick too, and it's as soft as cake in the middle.

That fruitcake is wrong about kneading though, it takes at most 2 sessions of 5 minutes :)

JuliaM said...

"Contrary to what you may have heard on the Beeb food does not disappear leaving a gaping hole in reality when thrown out..."

Indeed! The Beeb would probably still print verbatim any report that claimed that, mind..

"We used to have a bread making machine."

Nothing like waking up to the smell of fresh bread!

"...and there is never enough salt in it either..."

Not that you'd know that from reading CASH press releases, especially this week... ;)

David Gillies said...

People who can't understand how the division of labour is the root of economic growth ought to be made to grow all their own food, make all their own clothes, and build their housing.

I like cooking, but it's a leisure activity. If I substitute it for work then the opportunity cost is prohibitive. I can't afford to pay forty pounds for a loaf of bread.

JuliaM said...

Spot on! Don't these people usually embrace progress, not try to stifle it?