RESPONDING TO POPE FRANCIS’ CHALLENGE
You gave us responsibility for the earth,
a world of riches and delight.
Create in us a desire to live sustainably,
So that those who follow after us
May enjoy the fruits of your creation.
In his encyclical Laudato Si’ Pope Francis is strongly critical of our throw-away culture. He challenges us as consumers to be more responsible in our buying habits taking care about how much we buy and questioning if what we buy has been fairly traded. One of the biggest scandals to which so many of us contribute is Food Waste.
Food Waste facts:
- The UK throws away 4.2 million tonnes of food a year
Every month the average family throws away £60 of food – £720 in a year.
- Ethical Performance, an organisation that monitors how corporations behave, reports that there is now a Europe-wide value-chain approach to fight against food waste in the food services sector. Those involved in the field-to-plate initiative include Ardo, McCain, PepsiCo, SCA, Sodexo, Unilever Food Solutions and WWF. The initiative is driven by the International Food Waste Coalition which engages at every phase of food production and is now piloting a project in schools in different countries in the EU to identify where waste occurs and look for solutions. To know more visit: www.ethicalperformance.com/news/article/9268
- Sainsbury’s has teamed up with Google to launch Food Rescue, an online tool which provides advice and recipes to help stop waste and start saving food that might otherwise go into the bin. www.sainsburyfoodrescue.co.uk
- Many major supermarkets are now committed to better managing their food stocks to reduce the amount sent to landfill. Many donate perfectly edible products to Food Banks and local charities. Tesco, for example, works with food redistribution charity FareShare and has donated 2.3 million meals since late 2012. Tesco is also working with the UK Waste Reduction Action Programme (WRAP) to introduce “Love Food Hate Waste” hints and tips on the packaging of their fruit and vegetable products.
- Check out the food waste policy of the supermarket you use most often – how do they compare with competitors? How transparent is their performance data?
- Ask at Customer Service about the shop’s policy on food waste and also about their Fair Trade policy
- Always shop with a list to avoid buying more than you need or are likely to consume
- Buy and freeze – if it is more economic to buy a larger quantity, think about freezing the proportion that you will not be able to use immediately
- Make mouth-watering dishes from leftovers. If you are not sure how, check online for ideas and easy-to-follow recipes or ask a fellow parishioner – you’d be amazed at the wealth of knowledge in the parish.
- October 2015