SILLINESS OF THE DAY

From THE TELEGRAPH:

When Sacha Hall realised her local Tesco was throwing away thousands of pounds of fresh food following a power cut, she thought there could be no harm in taking some to eat. But to her horror, within minutes of stocking up her fridge with packets of ham, potato waffles and pies, police swooped on her home and arrested her for theft. She now faces the possibility of a jail sentence after admitting handling stolen goods in relation to the £200 haul of groceries.

She has condemned the police response as “totally out of proportion”, insisting she had only wished to prevent good food going to waste.

COMMENT: The supermarkets view Sacha’s action as theft because the way they see it is that if people eat their products for free, even if they have been thrown away, they will not spend the money saved in their shops.

Goodness knows how much good food is discarded by businesses in the developed world every day. I guess it will be hundreds of thousands of tons. Goodness knows how much energy and land use is wasted because of this. Goodness knows how much suffering is imposed on people in developing countries and among the poor in their own countries by these profit hungry companies because of their wasteful policies.

There ought to be a law against it.

There must be ways that all this organic matter could be utilised in a way that is less immoral and more caring towards our dying planet than simply bunging it into a landfill still in its forrest destroying and oil consuming packaging.

Comments

SILLINESS OF THE DAY — 10 Comments

  1. Don’t you have Food Banks- many of our stores contribute food that would otherwise be tossed – to them to be given to the hungry. Feeding America which used to be Second Harvest, Food Bank of the Rockies and local organizations collect food for distribution. For instance, our local store in Wyoming gave us their bread that was nearing its past due date.

  2. Yes, Ann. Supermarkets will give surplus food to homeless shelters. But this is not America. The number of people needing food handouts in England is small and the amount of food wasted much much higher than what is needed.

  3. Ann,
    one of the problems is the food safety laws.
    If a freezer in a supermarket packs up, the food has to be transferred to another freezer within 20 minutes or else is has to be declared as not saleable.

    That’s regardless of the fact that you could buy freezer food and then leave it in your car for 2 hours before putting it in your freezer at home!

    Our local TESCO had a power cut a little while ago and all the staff were distraught that they could only bin the food and not give it away to local charities. That would only have been possible if they’d had refrigeration lorries taking the goods there.

  4. Yes, Erika. But they are not charging this woman under the health and safety laws. They are doing her for theft. In other words, it’s all about making money and everything else is just a feeble excuse.

  5. Yes, Erika. But they are not charging this woman under the health and safety laws. They are doing her for theft. In other words, it’s all about making money and everything else is just a feeble excuse.

  6. MP
    I agree that this is absolute nonsense and should never be taken to court!
    But I was answering Ann’s questions about food banks.

    I suppose it’s like with rubbish you take to the dump – it then becomes the dump’s property although it’s been taken there because the owner doesn’t want it, and you’re not allowed to take it because that would be theft.

    Crazy!

  7. Point taken, although most rubbish taken to local refuse centres is turned into money one way or another, unlike discarded packaged food which is only recycled by seagulls at best.

  8. Who is this woman said to have stolen from, Tesco or the waste management company? Do you know?
    It would be harder to boycot the waste management firm.

  9. 8.3 million tonnes per year in the UK, last time I looked and yes it is damnable and destructive waste in npursuit of money-making.