Out Of Date

The other week, I wrote about when my girlfriend and I discovered a farm giving away free flowers.

It was a small moment in our day, but got us talking and thinking about a few things that have made it into a blog post! Here’s another:

The flowers we took were out of date. According to Marks and Spencer, they were supposed to be about a week out of date, but they’re still flowering now.

I wonder if M&S gave them to the charity because they were out of date?

Perhaps not, but this is just another example of our throwaway culture. Everything in shops has to have an expiry or ‘best before’ date. Once that date passes, the supermarkets are happy to throw these ‘expired’ items away. They’re supposedly unfit for their clientele. Every flower, fruit or vegetable has to be spotless, without bruises or blemishes.

I remember going to markets when I’ve travelled around Spain and the fruit and vegetables there are all shapes and sizes. They don’t have to be in pristine conditions, covered with pesticides and insecticides. They’re harvested and then sold because they need to be. Most of the villagers don’t care for ‘perfect’ vegetables that will be used in their cooking anyway. The produce is grown, sold and consumed locally, probably all within a few miles. Since so much here in the UK has to be imported, it needs to be preserved, and therefore pumped with all sorts of chemicals.

But there’s also ‘organic’ food that’s supposedly cultivated in a more eco-friendly way, but even this has become commercialised. ‘Wonky’ fruit or ‘wonky avocados’ have become trendy and simply another way to market groceries that aren’t ‘perfect’. The supermarkets want to make organic food attractive and desirable (which is good because it’s probably healthier), but it’s also a way to drive up costs and increase profits.

What do you think about the throw-away culture of food?