July 8, 2008

MPs’ GBP400 for Food is a Waste, Too

THE Prime Minister has decided to further endear himself to the electorate by travelling to Japan, at our expense and with serious damage to his carbon footprint, to inform us that UK families could save GBP420 per year by better management of our domestic food budget.

Am I not correct in thinking that MPs are entitled to GBP400 per month for food expenditure from their generous expenses allowance? Many would consider that to be a bigger waste.

Furthermore, Gordon Brown took the opportunity to advise us from afar that it is proposed that they (the assembled heads of state) would take action to double food production in Africa that they can sell to the rest of the world.

This clearly has further huge environmental implications in transporting the produce worldwide, while in the UK in recent years farmers have been receiving generous subsidies for taking land out of food production. Where is the logic to these conflicting policies?

Have we learned nothing in becoming almost totally dependent on others for our power supplies? Surely we cannot go even further down that route with food produce?

Neil H C Arthur, Broombrae, Kilpatrick, Isle of Arran.

AS MUCH as I agree with Prime Minister Gordon Brown's "global plan" announced at the G8 summit in Japan, "to both increase the global supply of food and reduce unnecessary demand", his urging of Britons to stop wasting food fails to see the wider picture of why this huge problem exists.

The pressure is unfairly being put on us, the consumers, to cut down our food waste.

It is all very well to preach to us that the UK puts four million tonnes of food a year in the bin, with the estimate we could all save GBP400 a year, if we cut how much food we buy.

However, supermarkets are getting away with continually giving us two-for-one offers, failing to cater more for single persons' needs, massively over-packaging food products, especially fresh fruit and vegetables, and failing to reduce the cost of foods due to pass their sell-by dates.

Legislation must focus far more on putting pressure on supermarkets to cut down on their over-provision of stock, when so much of it ends up going to waste.

Jill Ferguson, 6 Crow Road, Partick.

Originally published by Newsquest Media Group.

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