Talking Rubbish Blog

Every year in Australia we spend $5 billion on food we don’t eat (Do Something website  The big picture includes farmers producing food they cannot sell because there’s no market, supply exceeds demand, or goods are perceived to be of unacceptable quality.

What part do we play in this? What about all those visits to the shops where for $1 more we can get double the quantity that we don’t finish because it’s too much? The binned leftover bits from dinner, not quite enough for lunch the next day, or the leftovers forgotten and lost in the back of the fridge. The picnic leftovers, takeaway surplus, buying too much at the markets. We might all be shaking our heads and saying “no, that’s not me!” But we can still be colluders to the bigger picture through our purchasing power. We have become conditioned to accept only the unblemished fruit, the cucumber without a mark or the carrots of a perfect shape. Fresh food -- like people -- can come with many blemishes!

What can we do about it? Firstly let’s be less fussy. I can eat the good part of that half rotten apricot and I can compost, feed the chooks or feed the worms with the rotten bit! Encourage our offspring and friends to do likewise. When I’m cleaning out the fridge, there are useful things I can do with the mouldy food and smelly hummous. It all often goes in the rubbish bin without a thought for worms or compost. And if we haven’t got worms and have no room for compost, look at a bokashi bucket (google it) or give to friends with chickens, gardens, community gardens, or just bury it.

I feel we need to be responsible for our own organic waste. Maybe then we will think more closely about our purchasing and consumption.

Am I too unreasonable?
8 Aug 2011 10:36 AM  /   / compost, food, leftovers, organic, waste  /  4 comments


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Zoey Pereira

Very much agree with your post! Speaking from an international point of view, there is such a shortage of soft commodoties (such as grains, rice etc) which leads to greater increase in prices in these countries - its no wonder why people from other countries which to immigrate to Australia. Living south of the river (I fall under the city of Canning), I do find it restrictive that I cannot legally keep 1-2 chooks. Our food waste could easily support them, with the end product being a few freshly laid eggs. I think its time to cut some of this red tape.

Suz Paleo Australia

There really is so much wastage. When people complain about the price of healthy foods, if they'd only buy what they needed with no waste - it needn't be any more expensive!


You keep it up now, understand? Really good to know.