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What changes should be made to food policy?

Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary says we must cut waste if we are to reduce our impact on the environment. What should the government food strategy include?

Meat Free Mondays, allotments, and banning "Buy-One-get-One-Free" are all ideas being discussed at this morning's launch of the government food strategy.

The Tories say they plan to introduce a new supermarket ombudsman to support the interests of farmers against abuses of power by large food retailers. The ombudsman would settle disputes between retailers and suppliers.

Would you support a buy-one-get-one-free ban? How do you think we can reduce food waste? Are you a food producer? Would you welcome a new ombudsman?

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Published: Tuesday, 5 January, 2010, 07:44 GMT 07:44 UK

All comments as they come in

Added: Thursday, 7 January, 2010, 11:15 GMT 11:15 UK

None of these methods will reduce waste. What will, is encouraging people to plan meals, make a list, buy what they NEED rather than giving in to clever supermarket positioning and showing people how to cook tasty meals with leftovers. The River Cottage show is an excellent example of this concept.

BOGOF is an offer, it's not mandatory. If you won't use it and can't freeze it, buy one.

Genie, Bristol

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Added: Thursday, 7 January, 2010, 11:08 GMT 11:08 UK

Unfortunately I do waste food, one of the primary reasons is pricing. When I shop I look at items and price them, I then look at the smaller size and find it is too near to the price of the larger packet etc. If prices were half, then I would definately get the small size. One example is bread. A company brought out the "half loaf" which is full size bread but half a loaf. The half loaf is only 4p cheaper in a shop near me so obviously I will buy the full size and end up with waste.

Bill Derbyshire

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Added: Thursday, 7 January, 2010, 10:54 GMT 10:54 UK

Hello people.

I want an enquiry. And then another committee to look into food policy. And then we should set up a standards committee to look into how the enquiry was conducted.

After their findings are published we should then ask a company with no previous computer software experience to see if we can give them £1billion to write a database.
Well the estimate would be £1billion..it may well come to more.

be beethee

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Added: Thursday, 7 January, 2010, 10:52 GMT 10:52 UK

At the moment too many people's diets are high in meat, fat and poor nutritional content "value" food. A large reason for this is cost as factory farming and industrial food manufacture makes such food artificially cheap even though animal production is very inefficient on resources. I would support taxing meat products and convenience foods to incentivise consumers to rely more on cheap and healthy fruit and vegetables for their daily staples.

Des, Herts

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Added: Thursday, 7 January, 2010, 10:09 GMT 10:09 UK

Do I sense another committee, more regulations, more senseless and undecipherable labelling, and yet more interference?

Of course I do. It's another attempt by a well-meaning but utterly useless group of incompetents to solve the problems that no-one cares about whilst ignoring the real and important issues.

[shortfatbaldy], Pershore, United Kingdom

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Added: Thursday, 7 January, 2010, 09:39 GMT 09:39 UK

If supermarkets continue to undercut suppliers to the level where it is not longer viable for them to run their business and decide to close or open a more profitable alternative, the UK will end up with a reduced supply of such goods to inflate the price and warrant overseas supplies to meet the demand. This results in anti-environmental air or sea actions by the supermarkets all for extra profit. The domestic/overseas supplies will result in higher prices. Supermarkets require monitoring.

John Davies, Medway

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Added: Thursday, 7 January, 2010, 09:39 GMT 09:39 UK

Whatever, we are already guaranteed expensive debacles, reversals and price-hikes. This IS Britain you know!

James Taylor

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Added: Thursday, 7 January, 2010, 09:32 GMT 09:32 UK

The best way to prevent wasted food is to follow standard NuLab procedure:

Add a new "Food Green" tax of 50% to all foodstuffs, to make people think more carefully about their purchases

Second, regulate the output - weigh everyone on a weekly basis (new employment opportunities for government staff), with heavy on the spot fines for anyone who is heavier than the government's BMI target for their height.

Plus fat people could be made to wear a badge to shame them into being thinner!

Mike Poole, Kent, United Kingdom

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Added: Thursday, 7 January, 2010, 09:32 GMT 09:32 UK

We could banquet for life on government waste.

Chris Heatley, Dorchester, United Kingdom

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Added: Thursday, 7 January, 2010, 09:28 GMT 09:28 UK

If "govt." had any credibility I'd say 'Lead from the top', but really ANY response to either party just means we've been conned again.

Democratic Dream, Dorchester, United Kingdom

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Added: Thursday, 7 January, 2010, 09:28 GMT 09:28 UK

I think it is important to teach people how to plan meals so that waste is minimised. I had to learn this at secondary school (it was called 'home economics' then).

For the past two years (since online ordering has become easier), I've planned 3-4 weeks of meals at a time. I do one big grocery order for the non-perishable/freezable stuff, and then get my fresh foods in on a weekly basis. I've noticed a big reduction in the amount I throw away, and lower food bills.

Valerie Olson, London, United Kingdom

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Added: Thursday, 7 January, 2010, 09:27 GMT 09:27 UK

This sounds like the usual "worthy" but barking mad proposal we have come to expect from the Gordon "Low energy bulb" Brown and his crew of dingos

Why not show us the way, Hilary? Why not cut out the 20 course official banquets, cut out the jolies, cut out the huge food bill of your own department? Why not tax every MP over their officially prescribed BMI? Surely that's where you'll want to force on us all if by some nightmare NuLab gets in again!!

Just give up now and go away, please!!

Mike Poole, Kent, United Kingdom

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Added: Thursday, 7 January, 2010, 09:27 GMT 09:27 UK

for people promoting to buy brittish, it is a nice idea but unfortunately it is cheaper to buy from abroad. Everything is over taxed in this country including food. I have to buy within a budget which is a concept lost on the gov and MOD but not lost on the people who live off their own hard work.

Reducing packaging would be a great waste saver but I want to see real food, not pre made, to be cheaper. The only way I can see to make britain competetive is to lower fuel taxes

wayne, lancashire

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Added: Thursday, 7 January, 2010, 09:21 GMT 09:21 UK

Judging from the amount of food being thrown away, it is too cheap. Add to that the ludicrous (and wasteful, in terms of materials and energy) amounts of packaging, which also has to be disposed of/recycled and therein lies the problem. Oh, and lack of government intervention when it is actually needed for sustainability.

Neil Probert, Cernusco Sul Naviglio, Italy

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Added: Thursday, 7 January, 2010, 08:57 GMT 08:57 UK

In principle makes sense. Could the timing be better...the middle of a recession when people have less disposable income and now the politicians come with policies to increase the cost of food...derrr! What about having done this before when there was disposable income? Too busy basking in ones own imagined glory I imagine!

Michael Harding, Penshurst, United Kingdom

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DEBATE STATUS

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Rejected comments:
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