- Taschenbuch: 480 Seiten
- Verlag: Penguin (2. Juli 2009)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0141036346
- ISBN-13: 978-0141036342
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,9 x 2,6 x 19,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 138.852 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal: The True Cost of What the Global Food Industry Throws Away (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 2. Juli 2009
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Passionate, closely argued and guaranteed to make the most manic consumer peer guiltily into the recesses of their fridge.--John Preston
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Tristram Stuart has been a freelance writer for Indian newspapers, a project manager in Kosovo and a prominent critic of the food industry. He has made regular contributions to television documentaries, radio and newspaper debates on the social and environmental aspects of food. His first book, The Bloodless Revolution, 'a genuinely revelatory contribution to the history of human ideas' (Daily Telegraph), was published in 2006. He lives in the UK.
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Sources of waste exist all along the food chain. For example, farmers may grow 25% extra to ensure meeting contracts (and avoid expensive penalties) with acceptable volume and quality, large numbers of fish are thrown back (most die) because they are too small or the wrong species. Stuart goes on to point out that farmers lose additional amounts, especially in third-world nations, due to inadequate storage, lack of refrigeration, and exposure to sunlight. Food packagers and retailers create more waste through largely aesthetic standards and overstocking (especially at smaller stores) to avoid potentially lost sales - eg. minimizing the appearance of 'picked over' shelf-stock. How do aesthetic standards create waste - some packagers (eg. Birdseye), per Stuart, prohibit the resale of rejected product, or require it to be used for animal feed. "Sell-by" dates add more losses (I always pick through Twinkies to get the newest). And finally, U.S. and European consumers, especially single-individual homes, throw out even more. (Stuart also considers as waste the amount of food that too-many of us consume while overeating.)
Fortunately, remedies are as numerous as sources. Stuart notes considerable cultural differences - eg. Uighurs in western China are serious of making good use of food, while the Chinese Hans living in the same area see overfilling plates as being hospitable. In general, Stuart picks Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea as examples of cultures that waste much less food; it is tempting to suggest that North Korea probably is way ahead of even those three nations, but that would indeed be in poor taste - it is, a reminder, however, of the topic's importance. Farmers in the U.S. tend to band together and/or use futures markets more than their European counterparts to handle the risk of not filling sale contracts; other helpful tactics Stuart found included shaving down non-aesthetic carrots into 'young' carrots, micro-loans to provide spoil- and rat-proof storage, and selling vegetables rejected for appearance to caterers. (The latter is a bit funny - you're pay more at many restaurants, for cheaper vegetables, and to help avoid waste!). Stuart has also found that vending via Farmers' Markets reduces the volume of appearance out-grades. As for fishermen, changing the hooks used, the type of line (single long-line with multiple hooks, vs. many short ones), net construction and composition, and stopping the killing of sharks for their fins helps reduce needless loss of fish, and turtles, dolphins, and albatross as well.
Bottom Line: "Waste" is an easy, informative, and credible read about an important topic.
If there's something I took away, it's the importance of 1) Reducing; 2) Redistributing; 3) Recycling. In other words, whenever possible, waste should be reduced-- eliminated from all stages of the farm --> fork chain. More flexible and fair relationships between farmer/producers and supermarket buyers, less aesthetically stringent and really unnecessary standards, supermarkets' willingness to forgo the illusion of a constant cornucopia of a harvest, and many other factors would contribute to such a reduction. Stuart also goes into how food waste might be reduced in the fishing, restaurant, and catering businesses, etc. Next, food ought to be redistributed-- given to the poor, rather than needlessly and heartlessly landfilled. Here, Stuart seems to regard food as a basic human right, and I have some problem with his rather idealistic urge to supermarkets and producers to just give the leftovers or extras to the hungry. (He suggests, for example, that food be given directly within supermarkets to those on state benefits or who belong to particular groups. Finally, Stuart touches upon the importance of recycling, and how food waste should, as much as possible, be funneled as high as it might right back into the food chain. And here it is that he praises pigs to the sky as excellent purveyors of waste, marvelous magicians at turning inedible junk into plump flesh. If feeding waste to animals like pigs or chickens isn't possible, though, Stuart urges for anaerobic digestion or composting, anything save landfilling.
After reading this book, I did some research online and was heartened to find that there have been many efforts at linking together producers and buyers in a much more direct and efficient manner, such that waste might be diminished and costs from transportation/warehousing/refrigerating decreased. Check out: [...], or [...], for example. What I'd really like to see is a Facebook/Craigslist/Amazon-esque site for farmer/producers, such that they might 1) Break free of imbalanced relationships with buyers/supermarkets; 2) Be able to sell more of their product, both in terms of quantity produced, such that less might be thrown away post-harvest, and the fruit/vegetable/animal itself. There's bound to be a market for essentially every part of the _______, after all, and with the markedly decreased transaction costs effected by the Internet, producers should be able to find more easily buyers who want whatever that _______ might be, whether 'tis chicken legs or potato skins.
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