best site buy cialis online non prescription phexin pharmacy over the counter indocin is zanaflex better than valium ciprofloxacino posologia gonorrea rosuvastatin without prescription medication cialis suppliers purchase flomax on line in the uk premarin pills zestoretic medicine can you buy order prescription revatio nootropil usa sale when does accutane usually start working health canada citalopram mirapex side effects gambling buy genuine cozaar uk nootropil drugs for sale retin-a ge to buy from europe buy nizagara online from usa what shampoo is like nizoral viagra sample free canada amitriptyline buy online mexico low cost overnight levothroid finpecia medication online top rated canadian pharmacy online genuine bentyl 100mg price of viagra at costco order clozaril pill where can you get tetracycline best flovent prices online pharmacy birth control no prescription sominex online meds aqua ban buy online cabgolin generic buy cheap antabuse pills brand diamox for sale side effects of wellbutrin overdose topical pain medication voltaren himcocid cheap uk cabgolin perth australia buy generic drugs online floxin online overnight delivery canadian online pharmacy for ceftin premarin online usa no prescription where to buy kamagra uk abilify perth australia aceon shortage 2012 best generic clomid review rogaine and propecia before and after better than digoxin 7 main types of drugs can you buy levitra plus in ireland viagra online drug what is dramamine trip like elimite in usa buy kamagra oral jelly cheap generic pills for dostinex university puerto rico college pharmacy thuoc danazol 100mg levitra bayer 10 mg prezzo azathioprine and drinking alcohol unisom coupons 2013 where do you buy cialis in canada grifulvin v tablets uses l-tryptophan in croatia vytorin patient reviews premarin price increase online chemist propanolol cheapest place to buy pariet exelon patch 10 transdermal flaster fiyat? safe place order deltasone cheap tricor cipro called india how much does a bottle of aleve cost addiction to pain pills recovery duetact order in the us buy nizagara pills online rhinocort to buy from europe silagra 100 cipla suprax shelf life vytorin prices at costco nolvadex street prices claritin tablets 10mg dipyridamole online forum buy lipothin in singapore lincocin without script diltiazem capsules dosage retail cost of imitrex celebrex 200mg capsulas how to take amoxicillin 500mg levitra buy online no prescription there generic acyclovir ointment acheter pas cher fertomid eutirox efectos secundarios en perros where can i buy generic clomid domperidone dosage for inducing lactation pharmacies buy biaxin canadian can i get yasmin on the nhs zithromax fast usa generic terramycin uk paypal nolvadex for gyno during cycle buy mircette online pharmacy avodart for sale philippines where to buy viagra over the counter in hong kong floxin in the uk now buy phentermine 37.5 cheap is avodart generic buy coreg online in usa omifin embarazo multiple 2010 erythromycin in spain 10 day weather forecast leeds propecia comprare valtrex cheap prescription how to use diclofenac sodium tablet viagra para mujer en ecuador price of propecia in canada carbozyne overnight delivery hydroxyzine hydrochloride dosage prednisolone for dogs to buy uk canadian pharmacy buying allegra online buy zovirax bulk other types of viagra discount malegra dxt can we trust levitra super active online diakof online forum sertraline 100mg tablets side effects no prescription needed website review buy tenormin no prescription fast delivery anacin 10 mg betapace mist canada how to get glycomet drug american lozol dulcolax price at walmart migraine medication maxalt side effects generic proscar india purchase voltaren buy zerit online from usa where is prevacid made genuine fertomid 100mg allbendazole online buy v max herbal supplement nexium discounts codes lamisil dose for tinea can you buy rumalaya online tadacip for sale usa prescription tadacip pharmacy jobs in dubai plant vigra pills motilium from cheapest avodart paypal lariam not generic common side effects of trileptal how to buy ampicillin tadalis sx maximum dosage buy research chemicals ship to usa plavix going generic 2012 tegretol delivery uk safe place order apcalis sx pulmicort online pharmacy has best price etodolac kamagra oral jelly cheap uk generic cialis jelly for sale on line ultra low dose venlor can i take 2 benadryl pills lov cost proventil cvs cialis price isoniazid dosage for children veterinary medication online isotretinoin alcohol florida alligator newspaper reviews on provera 10mg piroxicam topical gel metformin and pioglitazone side effects rosuvastatin prices usa best place buy clonidine the best erection pills over the counter order alphagan tablets buy brand amoxil online canada native canadian medicine wheel when is aricept going generic pulmicort inhaler rxlist clomid menstrual cycle side effects glucophage uk buy buying haridra using paypal erection packs 1 no prescription fedex ups rumalaya forte legal in england buy tetracycline 500mg what is the cost of zovirax cream buy diovan colchicine mg canadian rx how to take acai berry and colon cleanse together buy kytril online reviews viagra soft over counter super dmz rx buy finax 1mg reviews omifin para que sirve en los hombres valtrex costco ranitidine brand positioning vytorin 50mg tablets buy vasodilan online thru paypals generic sildenafil citrate paypal atrovent without script can you buy viagra over the counter brand prescription best over the counter testosterone cream publix pharmacy free lisinopril xalatan discount card cutting 5mg finasteride tablets proventil drugs online purchases how to use alphagan eye drops how can you get promethazine prescribed motilium tablets 10 mg is lasuna available over the counter can ryan giggs play 1000 games how much is propranolol tablets purchase siberian ginseng imitrex looking for cephalexin to buy in australia where can i get forzest pills lamisil tablets fungal nail infection purim pharmacy prices list buy pyridium 100 mg ordering diflucan online benadryl coupons 2010 cheapest new liverpool kit get medication next day online buy usa adalat without drugstore mineral makeup reviews where do i trazodone in india viagra sublingual pharmacy online glucophage for daily use canada no prescription lisinopril hctz dapoxetine usa sale goes i buy diflucan online buy zofran odt online donde conseguir cialis best place to buy shatavari buy benadryl skin cream ortho tri cyclen from canada without prescirption buy viagra jelly 80 mg online can you order serpina kamagra uk coupon code prix du cialis 10mg buy ashwagandha extract acheter pas cher brand viagra lexapro online can you only get extendaquin on prescription why has ophthacare been discontinued tadapox online usa delivery buy antivert discount acai order by phone what is proscar 5 mg used for ampicillin drug interactions flagyl er usa cvs prices rimadyl dogs no prescription estradiol cream reviews cheap birth control pills online cheapest price for actonel buy snovitra super power tablets online genuine pulmicort best price buy cyklokapron where to get alliance faction tabards cephalexin from uk buy actos mg online best price for real aristocort us pharmacies online that sell luvox cipro rx online buy imitrex bulk 1 man 1 jar official video link map of medicine back pain buy cafergot online clindamycin gel 1 allopurinol maximum dosage prevacid coupons 2012 mirapex pharmacy order furosemide mg mexico erection packs 1 canada hydrocodonefrom candacheap ajanta pharma limited mumbai contact fake viagra does it work can you buy levitra plus in ireland viagra splitting seroquel xr pills pomegranate smoothie vitamix buy over the counter arava online how to use erythromycin ophthalmic ointment usp can you buy nymphomax online acquistare antabuse in italia is viagra safe for teenagers i pill cefadroxil website cialis on line in the canada buy rumalaya australia cheap actos discount pharmacy buy astelin cheap canadian pharmacy purchase cafergot on line in australia how to prevent anxiety attacks what is green tea plus hoodia good for advair 250 50 coupon what does zestril look like diovan next day delivery alli available south africa holiday insurance compare pet drugs online canada estrace now co uk i pill abilify website side effects of ciplox 500 buy serophene 15mg online us online pharmacy no prescription finax what types of voltaren are there worldpharm4u buy viagra usa seroquel canada drug can buy nitrofurantoin online cheap viagra plus no prescription ordering levitra professional cialis prescription cheapest lasuna india propecia generic dulcolax from usa pharmacy fast voveran delivery alli generic mexico canada buy cipro paypal brand cialis buy canada what is rumalaya forte pills used for alli when will it be available generic no prescription viagra bystolic dosage maximum tinidazole online usa can you order flonase sure generic buy bentyl in ireland paroxetine mg usa lloyds pharmacy opening times reading anti anxiety medication no prescription comprar doxazosin en argentina celexa side effects weight montelukast 10 mg reviews us pharmacy online cialis dcis without tamoxifen valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide generic where to buy doxycycline in singapore diltiazem drug class buy tegretol paypal accepted innopran xl generic name is noprescriptiondrugs com safe buy acticin 20 canadian pharmacy cialis viagra midamor capsules discount prescriptions without insurance metoclopramide 10mg tablets is safe during pregnancy orlistat cost comparison clomid pharmacy coupons dostinex visa zestoretic brand positioning bystolic 5 mg reviews zetia phone orders methotrexate dosage for ra coming off of metformin canadian pharmacy erection packs 18 what is biaxin for what is hyaluronic acid supplements costco pharmacy metoclopramide price cheap stromectol up pharmacy what is the generic for atrovent topical nifedipine breastfeeding tesco pharmacy chloramphenicol no prescription canada brand cialis 100 does abilify cause weight gain or loss what is lipitor tablets how many pills to take for chlamydia paroxetine cost walgreens allopurinol over the counter prescription can you get high off metformin retin a micro gel vs retin a cream ivermectin for chickens buy actos without a script zestril generic wikipedia drugs is it ok to take cipro and flagyl together buy zoloft online without prescription in the us buy nimotop boots tri levlen 28 reviews buy artane from canada hydrochlorothiazide pills look like diovan discount program strattera 100 mg cost cipro with no rx what are the side effects of taking lithium gonorrhea treatment nhs order doxycycline without prescription requip cost comparison order generic himplasia canada drugs sinequan with prescription online rhinocort india nymphomax tablets cheap zestril uk shelf life of tetracycline antibiotics brand advair diskus precio mexico erectile dysfunction ayurvedic drugs in india fastest norvasc uk delivery levitra super active pharmacy order how to get off celexa safely reviews suprax ordering no prescription cytotec tablet 200 mg where to buy lvl 70 pvp gear alliance allegra d generic for sale acai berry pharmacy australia where to buy viagra in amsterdam ordering cialis soft tabs 100mg doxycycline dogs cancer tadalafil uk generic how much does nizoral shampoo cost generic trial pack viagra cialis generic xalatan switzerland maxalt from canada mirapex shop net cipro medicine online lariam side effects uk nitroglycerin tabs online haldol dosage oral where can i buy bystolic 5 mg buy synthroid singapore how to take aleve mg best prescription anxiety pills buy generic levitra plus with bonus what is the maximum daily dosage of aleve buy sarafem from mexico online can i make singulair synthroid 75 mcg side effects buy coumadin without a subscription to buy deltasone guaranteed worldwide shipping zestril canadian pharmacy buy lotensin pills online metformin buy cheap strattera discount coupons pharmacy what is diclofenac sandoz tablets used for abilify 20mg tablets diflucan dosage yeast infection breasts trial erection packs 1 online without rx pms valacyclovir 500 mg side effects dose free or low cost desyrel penegra online do you need rx urispas escitalopram no prescription uk online pill how to buy aricept in london buy betapace with paypal pharmacy that sells benzac losartan medication celadrin mail order buy zyrtec new zealand online is metformin sold over the counter can you buy pravachol online sitagliptin metformin combination levitra vs cialis which is better can you order yasmin all types ventolin pills elimite reviews and dosage ordering doxycycline india what does zyloprim treat kamagra chewable costco yasmin online usa baclofen medicine children celebrex cost without insurance what is the normal dose for claritin viagra for sale philippines all types evista pills ordering low dose isoniazid where cane i buy trimethoprim treatment cleocin tablets uk meridia quest skyrim wiki generic mircette in usa super viagra cream over the counter medicine that acts as diclofenac donde puedo comprar silagra indinavir fda appoved pharmacy online robaxin tablets for dogs levaquin weight gain what types of acivir pills are there lariam price australia voveran coupons ephedrine caffeine aspirin stack reviews buying hydrochlorothiazide for dogs purchase prescriptions drugs canada colchicine usa cvs prices tadalis sx brands india tretinoin 0,05 next day delivery topamax legal in england ceftin express canada effexor xr uk sale walmart pharmacy jobs utah celadrin reviews topical cream glucophage dose for weight loss canadian kamagra buy clozaril farmacy canada alli tablets boots buy kamagra oral jelly 15mg online to buy brand advair diskus best mac foundation for dry skin 2011 methotrexate combination therapy there cvs toronto canada erexin noprescrition needed canada online pharmacy zyprexa pills buy online sildenafil citrate 50mg effects buy effexor xr australia percocet abuse side effects buy lisinopril 10 mg no prescription order cipro online pharmacy 500mg neurontin weight gain side effects how to use himcolin lamisil uk next day delivery pyridium medication order propranolol usado cleocin online in usa quickest dostinex how to buy avandamet purchase cleocin lowest price indocin legal us quickest skelaxin ventolin overnight shipping cheap decadron price comparison purinethol online uk mail order prescription drugs from canada cheap brahmi usa omifin 3 pastillas diarias
Know how

Article categories

Grow your own

Whatever the scale of your ambitions or plot you'll find something useful here.

Make your own

Reduce your footprint by making your own, from knitting to soap-making to adorning your home.

Livestock and pets

Find out about rearing livestock from the farm to the garden, and doing the best for your pets.

Energy efficiency and construction

Discover how to adapt, change and even build your own home to enable you to tread more lightly upon the planet.

Cooking, preserving and home brewing

From the home brewery to ambitions of chefly grandeur. Find out how to do it all here and really taste the difference.

Wild food

Subsidise the larder in a sustainable way. From fishing, to shooting, to foraging safely, find it among these articles.

Conservation and the environment

Conserve our world for future generations. See how you can help in these pages.


From shopping with a conscience to building your own enterprise. Find advice and encouragement among these pages.

Everything else

Sometimes the diversity of downsizing can throw up an unusual topic.


Past editorial items from the downsizer front page.

You are here: Home arrow Articles arrow Conservation and the environment arrow Dustbin - or dinnertable?


Dustbin - or dinnertable?

Written by Jonnyboy

Jonnyboy brings up to date his call to arms on cutting waste from supermarket shopping

Sainsbury's failure to catch up with its main rivals has highlighted one key thing; the consumer likes a well stacked shelf. Criticised for a lack of stock availability, their new CEO confirmed that the company would focus on food and try to keep shelves better stocked, whilst writing off £140M from its now redundant IT system that was expected to deliver huge supply chain improvements.

But in the great supermarket war this means bad news for the environment, the suppliers and inevitably the consumer.  Any drive to maximise stock availability with a perishable item will increase the risk of wastage; you only need to look at the ‘marked down' section in Tesco to see that dairy, fresh foods & vegetables predominate. Consider that nearly all of the mushy fruit on special offer was grown abroad and shipped here and you begin to realise the amount of waste involved.

Recent studies have shown that for example, 1 calorie of energy in a carrot takes 8 calories of energy to transport from South Africa to the UK. If you extrapolate that across the huge swathes of foreign produce filling our supermarket shelves (between 1-2% is local) then a picture of the resource depletion this entails is worryingly clear. No wonder then that at least 20% of our road transport is due to the logistical nightmare that is the supermarket food supply chain.

In fact, as a challenge, head to the nearest supermarket and find some fruit that isn’t foreign.

Many less obvious products also have significant food mile cost; a lorry load of a well known yoghurt shipped from Germany will require 100 gallons of diesel fuel to reach the UK, and that doesn’t include the fuel used crossing the channel by whatever means or that used in onward distribution from the supermarket depot to individual branches.

Supermarkets are understandably coy about the waste generated by their activities, however, Lord Haskins, an adviser to the Government on food issues, estimates that supermarkets throw away 5% of their food. This is the 'tip of the iceberg' compared with the entire supply chain. 'Total waste from the farm to the kitchen table is about 70%,' he claims. Even if you consider 5% to be accurate then that still leaves over 40 million chickens destined for the dustbin rather than the dinner table. In truth the amount wasted will be far higher.

There is even a new breed of ethical consumer sticking up two fingers to the sell by date and exploiting the possibilities of this wastage. The ‘Freegan' - people who eat free food otherwise destined for the dump; surplus produce found in supermarket bins, market stalls and bakery doorways.

But food wasted in the supermarket isn’t the only problem, increasingly food is purchased due to its cosmetic looks rather than its taste, with bizarre supermarket specifications that expect growers to defy nature: uniformity of colour, red/green blush percentages, size grading, even penetromiter density testing. The result is apples, oranges and strawberries of waxwork perfection but with an acceptance rate that can be as low as 30%, that’s 70% wasted food, and this is happening even in developing countries, take this worrying passage from the Felicity Lawrence’s book ‘Not on the label’*:

"..and they had to be straight, curved beans would not do….explained that 35% of beans failed to make the supermarket grade…..most went to waste, even in a country (Kenya) where people go hungry.."

When you consider the humanitarian achievements that could be made by redistributing our resources it becomes almost sickening to comprehend a walk down those brightly lit aisles. Any enterprising hacker who wants to replace Tesco TV with scenes from the Darfur refugee camp would get my support. Heck, I'd stand up and applaud them.

Unfortunately it's the rest of us who must look to our actions and their influence on supermarket activity. Intensive farming practices and our newly found "food on demand" culture, have led to our animals, fruits and vegetables being treated as commodities akin to a bar of soap or DVD. Production is regulated - compressed or increased to suit an ever changing demand created by the weather, advertising, or health scare/diet fad. Consumers contemplating an empty space where their favourite cereal, beer or free range chicken normally resides may turn on their heel in a fit of pique and shop elsewhere, or so the supermarket fears. If we want change, we should be open to the fact that what we came for may not be what we leave with, the spirit of sustainability and seasonality needs to be embraced by us all.

How to achieve that? Well, we need to shop elsewhere in the first place. Using our local resources wisely, shopping locally and in tune with the seasons, all of the great articles posted this week give us plenty of inspiration and advice on how to change our shopping habits in a way that can have far reaching consequences for our wallet, our diet and our planet.

Consider how much of your shopping ends up uneaten and wasted, do you need to buy so much, or can you search the recipe pages here for advice on imaginative vegetable recipes? If you have some land, what about converting the vegetable waste into protein by keeping a few chickens or even some pigs? At the very least chuck it on the compost heap rather than the bin.

The stark fact remains, that if we continue to buy our perishable foods from the supermarket then we are unwittingly supporting a process that requires up to 70% of produce be thrown away before it even reaches us. Based on our own wasteful ways it’s not inconceivable that up to 90% of certain perishable produce grown is destined solely for the landfill. It's we as consumers that have the power to change that.

Visit the Recipes Forum to discuss frugal but satisfying use of your shopping

*Not on the Label: What Really Goes in to the Food on Your Plate, Felicity Lawrence, Penguin 2004