There was a story on the Guardian today about all the food that Brits throw away. I can totally see it. I do it. I don’t mean to, and I wish I didn’t. But food here seems to spoil so fast. I don’t know what that implies about the typical amount of preservatives in things in the US… even silly, small things like a pint of milk go off here and get washed down the drain. I drink coffee with milk every day and yet can’t manage to avoid this little pitfall. I also go to the grocery store on average every other day, with my tiny fridge, and must still not be adjusted to how much food I need to buy.
Preservatives (or lack thereof) aside, there are really really obvious things going on here that don’t get mentioned by the article. All of the ready meals are refrigerated. As I have discussed previously, a freezer is apparently not standard issue in apartments here. I thought I was doing quite well without one when I first arrived, but now I’m not so sure. Aside from moving and severe freezer burn of the six-months variety, I don’t remember ever having to toss out “ready meals” in the states (where they are called frozen dinners!). Yes I buy more fresh vegetables here since I can’t buy frozen, but that also means I throw out broccoli past its prime on a regular basis. Even cheese seems to get damp and moldy much faster. And I swear I never, ever recall seeing mold on mashed potatoes in the US. So yes, Brits throw away a huge amount of potentially edible food, but it seems to me a great deal of it would be preventable with the simple addition of frozen foods.