Food has always been a commodity that few of us enjoy wasting. Aside from the likes of royals, nobles and aristocrats of centuries gone by, when having more than you could physically ingest was a status symbol, the throwing away of good grub is seen as extravagant, selfish and even ignorant.
This is why there has always been a means of putting unwanted food to good use. From giving it to the homeless to feeding it to the dog, saving leftovers and turning them into a full meal the next day or chucking it all on the compost heap, there’s always something that can be done. What we need to bear in mind is that food isn’t limitless, and even the type that does grow on trees covers a complicated route from branch to plate.
Food is grown, harvested, picked and plucked, cleaned, processed, cooked and freeze-dried, packaged, canned, bottled and wrapped, and there are relatively few groceries that are still in their original form when we get our hands on them. Even if something is still in its natural state, such as an orange or mushroom, a series of checks will have been carried out to ensure that it’s of a high quality, not to mention the actual process of growing it in the first place. Then there’s the logistics: unless everything you eat comes from your own allotment or back garden, all of it has been transported from A to B to C, and most likely a few more ports of call along the way. Transportation means a larger carbon footprint, so even a lovely Maris Piper potato, homegrown in the UK, will have travelled a fair few miles just for you to turn it into a handful of chips.
We have to admit that we got a bit slack during the last few decades of the 20th century. We thought we had it made: rationing had ended, various ingredients and meals began to hop from country to country like never before, and people were more excited for foreign dishes than the hungriest of the ancient Roman emperors. We threw food scraps in the bin and flushed half-eaten meals down the toilet, never considering the amount of work that went into its production, packaging, handling and haulage. Then the 21st century arrived, and with it came a combined sense of guilt and responsibility regarding our wasteful nature. Since then, food recycling has increased exponentially year on year, with the majority of local councils now providing a composting bin to every household. We are finally working toward using every morsel, be it for our stomachs or our gardens, our pets or our crops, and we shall reap the benefits indefinitely providing this dutifulness continues, teaching it to our children and encouraging our friends, family members and work colleagues to do the same.
If you’re interested in a particular beauty of a product for the home and office alike, our Organic and General Waste Bin is a two-in-one solution that saves space and makes composting easier than ever. Or maybe you’re happy with the arrangement you already have, in which case please do carry on. The important thing is that we each do our bit toward returning those nutrients to the ground; that’s where our next meal is coming from, after all.