Tesco says almost 30,000 tonnes of food ‘wasted’


Images from: Joonggul Ro’s PG02

This BBC article is based on food waste figures published by Tesco for the first six months of this year.

The figures include food wasted before it arrives at Tesco, and food bought by its customers which is never consumed. Tesco estimates that “families are wasting an estimated £700 a year and we want to help them keep that money in their pockets, rather than throwing it in the bin”.

£700 represents about 50% of the average annual dual-fuel bill (gas and electricity) of £1,315 per household, so wasting less food could help a lot.

Tesco claims that 1 in 10 bananas purchased is thrown away, and also high in the customer wastage stakes is packaged salad (most likely because the bags are too big) and bread.

There are many ways to use up (or to avoid creating these left-overs in the first place):

  • overripe bananas can be made into muffins (or banana bread) and can be frozen so you don’t need to eat them all at once; also, if you have a robust liquidiser or food processor you can create some fruity ‘ice cream’ by combining ripe bananas, frozen fruit (use it straight from the freezer) and yogurt;
  • left-over bread ccould be made into croutons, breadcrumbs (dried in the oven, bread pudding or bread and butter pudding;
  • maybe bagged salad should be avoided – you can always shred a white cabbage (a section of white cabbage will last a long time in the fridge) and grate root vegetables. If you do want some green leaves then Lidl does small bags of (unwashed) wild rocket (I think it was 79p last week).

Of course, another way to reduce customer wastage is to stop doing multi-buy deals on perishable food (at Tesco these deals on large bags of salad have ceased) and to reduce the size of perishable food displays which Tesco is also doing.

I can’t help thinking there’s a conflict of interest here. If lowering customer food wastage leads to customers spending less at Tesco, and Tesco sales fall, this won’t be good (for Tesco).

Urrrgh!!!! Frozen Strawberry Alert!


No sooner do I praise Lidl’s frozen ‘Fruits of the Forest‘, than Lidl changes the ingredients.

A  visit to my local store revealed a new product ‘Fruits of the Black Forest’, which contains strawberries according the illustration on the packaging. This seems particularly odd because both Sainsbury’s and Waitrose sell ‘Black Forest Fruits’, neither of which contain strawberries.

I have pointed this out to Lidl by email and await a response.

Fruit Compote – make it yourself it’s cheaper and better!


I find fruit compote, Greek style yogurt, some seeds and a sprinkling of Waitrose’s ‘Seriously nutty maple & mixed nut crisp’ makes a satisfying breakfast.

For a start, the Waitrose cereal is not the cheapest (nor the most expensive) of its kind, but it is of excellent quality; but what about the fruit compote? ‘Yeo Valley organic apple & berry fruit compote’ (450g) currently retails at Waitrose for £2.99.

My ideal fruit compote is made from: black/red currants, raspberries (and their relatives), blackberries and nothing else (except for the addition of a small amount of sugar). The frozen fruit sold by supermarkets is very suitable for making this.

Defrost it, add sugar to taste if liked, put it in a microwavable bowl with a lid, and microwave at 750Kw (about 7 minutes for the 750g below, stirring after about 5 minutes). This will probably keep in a fridge for about ten days, but is likely to be eaten well before then!

I’ve tried a lot of frozen fruit, but my favourite is Lidl’s ‘Green Grocers Fruits of the Forest’. It contains all the fruits listed above (and no strawberries, which so often feature in ‘value’ packs of frozen berries, and to my mind add nothing and only ruin the flavour of the compote) and at £2.29 for 750g represents very good value. The fruit is also good just defrosted – particularly the black/red currants.

OK, it’s not organic, but for very little effort I have a fruit compote, made with the ingredients I like, for about 46% of the cost of the Yeo Valley product (and it won’t have been thickened with maize starch enabling the Yeo Valley product to be ‘bulked-up’ with water (it’s top of the ingredient list).