Food Waste: Hope rests on your Fingertip.

Here is an opportunity to act in concert as a global community to end the farce of food waste. However, the evil imp called ‘politics’ will raise his sneering face from the depths of the mire and shout, ‘what’s in it for me?’ And there ends the pipedream of universal action. It would be equally pointless to suggest an independent body supervise a programme to end waste. The chief reason being that we cannot escape the ‘WIIFM’ mob; the ‘unacceptable face of capitalism’, as Ted Heath, British PM 1970’s put it. It would prove impossible to secure agreement on an organisation or who should sit on said organisation, or who should be its chair. Such palaver would have us in committee meetings until the last tree was felled for the last report, which would conclude, the matter unresolved.

The only people who can effect change is-you. Mass pressure from voters is the only medicine that can cure the politicians’ malaise. Thus the best that can be done is to bring that pressure to bear through a www/media campaign to ensure that they listen. It can be made perfectly clear that your vote will only be cast for the political party that puts in writing positive measures to combat food waste and that measures proposed must include long-term commitment. It must also show how your tax money will be spent. Only through the threat of losing your vote will they emerge from the committee room; after lunch of course.

Who should be involved in the campaign to abolish food waste? The answer may seem obvious but it needs to be spelt out time and again. There are no negatives in fighting food waste and the positives are many-fold. Take for example, feeding those who need it: war victims, victims of natural disasters and those simply down on their luck. Many people at times in their lives need emergency help; imagine therefore that food waste was eliminated and the near $1 trillion spent on the waste had not, and was not being squandered. How much help could then be offered?

If you are one of those listed below then you should be in the campaign to end food waste.

Environmentalists

Animal welfare

Tax payers

Charities

Aid donors

Feed   all who need it.

Stop   rainforest destruction

Prevent   methane gas emissions

Stop   genetically modified food production

Reduce   chemical fertilizer use.

 

Think of the environment, in more ways than you can count on both your hands. Of the millions of tonnes of methane gas spewed into the atmosphere needlessly. Think of the millions of hectares of rain forest being destroyed needlessly. Of chemical fertilizer like a rain of death on our eco-system and lakes and rivers polluted needlessly. Think of the plant and animal species wrenched from their habitat to create more space to produce more food which we don’t need, and all before we understand what they are and their value, without thought, needlessly.

Has science been treating us like lab-rats? The European Commission has just announced that it is to ban three (3) pesticides from farming to protect the bees which are essential to pollination. Of course environmental groups are applauding the decision while the chemical companies: Syngenta and Bayer are very much opposed to the ban. The chemicals involved are: clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiametoxam; collectively known as neonicotinoids. Scientists are also divided but more side with the ban than oppose it.

“The weight of evidence clearly points to the need to have a phased ban of noenicotinoids.”

Prof: Simon Potts, Reading University.  Cited: www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013

The UK government oppose the ban on the basis that it will cost farmers a lot of money, £1.7bn and reduce crop yield by 20%. I find it very alarming that the government can work out the consequences of the ban so quickly but could not fathom one consequence of introducing the pesticides in the first instance. The only conclusion that can be drawn from that is that we were guinea pigs. Initially the ban will be for two years, I don’t know if that is sufficient time to carry out a worthwhile study but perhaps science will keep us up to date with their findings.

A further piece of damning information came out in this jolly month of April. It was announced that CO2 emissions are likely to hit a new high in May, going above the 400ppm mark for the first time.

“The 400ppm threshold is a sobering milestone, and should serve as a wakeup call for all of us to support clean energy technology and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, before it’s too late for our children and grandchildren.”

Tim Leuker, Scripps CO2 Group. www.guardian.co.uk

The 400ppm relates to 400 parts per million. For those of us who need to visualise the meaning; take 1million grains of rice and add 400 different coloured grains of rice mix it and that’s how it works. See the short, unsophisticated video at:  www.ncwatch.typepad.com/media/

It may not sound much but the scientist take it seriously as a clear sign that the earth is warming and thus reaching a critical heat level. The consequences of global warming are not yet conclusive but we should be concerned.

However, we don’t know which scientists to believe. People in the UK were told that

You listen to me!

You listen to me!

British beef was safe to eat only to discover ‘mad cows’ disease. Some tell us we need to eat genetically modified food so that we can produce enough food to feed the growing population. I think you’ll find that business has spent ‘mega bucks’ on research & development and now want to see a hefty return on their investment. Therefore, we are about to have genetically modified crops whether we want to or not. Unless you can stop it!

Yet, we have discovered that by eliminating food waste and with greater efficiency we don’t need to produce more food just use it better. In doing so we reduce significantly the emissions of methane gas, one of the nastiest, and feed the growing population. Have another look at Achim Steiner’s statement.

The waste land

The waste land

Furthermore, in the past, scientists have encouraged us to accept other deadly pesticides (DDT) and to view plastic as a great innovation that would revolutionise our lives. Well plastic has, we have mountains of the stuff polluting the environment all over the globe!

When you think of the points made above it would be incredulous if every rational person was not against food waste. We are all environmentalists because we all have a stake in the future be it for ourselves or for our offspring. We do not therefore all have to be altruistic and we certainly don’t have the money to be philanthropists but what we can be is thoughtful. A little tad selfish is likewise permissible, not the grasping, WIIFM kind. I want to: walk in the park, swim in the ocean, climb a tree, hike up a mountain, ski down a slope, put newly cut flowers in my vase, watch animals with my binoculars and ensure that my children and grandchildren can enjoy the same.

All these activities bring a feeling of contentment to our otherwise hectic lives. They bring a smile, a feeling of connectedness and a beauty that anyone can appreciate. Cameras click and children stare in wonder and jump back in mock fear at the sight of a snake or crocodile and, laughter reminds us that beauty has no end.

And you? Your fingertip can ensure that beauty has no end. You can make life such that we never have to agree with Marcel Proust, “The true paradises are the paradises that we have lost.”

As for me, I would rather take a stroll with William Wordsworth,

My heart leaps up when I behold

A rainbow in the sky:

So was it when my life began;

So is it now I am a man;

So be it when I grow old,

Or let me die!

The child is father of the man;

And I could wish my days to be

Bound each to each by natural piety.

Food Waste: Hope, sitting on your fingertip!