On This Day

Catherine Pepinster, editor of the Catholic newspaper, The Tablet
Friday, 7 June, 2013
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

If a butterfly can set off a tornado, just imagine what your discarded apple core can do! Then add in all the discarded waste food from everyone around the world. No wonder we’ve been having funny weather for the last few years.

But it’s not just the weather that’s affected by food waste. Think of all the starving children in Africa who wouldn’t be starving if only they had food. Makes you think, eh?

The solution to all this has been provided by Pope Frankie, who took over recently from Pope Benny. Pope Frankie says we shouldn’t waste food. So there, that’s the solution. By not wasting food, food that would’ve been wasted can be giving to starving children in Africa, who therefore won’t starve.

Then there are the people who eat too much and become big, fat and lazy. They’re just as bad as the people who throw food away. If they didn’t eat so much then there would be more spare food for starving children in Africa.

Tomorrow, thousands of Christians will gather in Hyde Park to protest at all the food wastage. We’ll be demanding that less food gets wasted. Our solution to less food wastage is to waste less food, thus providing more food for all the starving children in Africa.

Christianity’s like that. It doesn’t just point to problems and say, “Oh, what a terrible problem.” It produces sensible, practical solutions, like having Jesus magic up food out of nowhere but just choosing not to do it right now.


2 thoughts on “On This Day

  1. This one strikes me as someone pontificating about stuff she knows nothing about. Some food waste is inevitable if we are to have a reliable supply. Supermarkets are extremely efficient at cutting down on waste when you take account of the volume of food that they handle. At home we waste very little. What isn’t used gets composted or fed to chickens. Use by and best before dates exacerbate the food waste problem, the alternative is to eat food that is going off. When it comes to people going hungry in poorer countries, the problem is lack of efficient farming methods. This problem is slowly being solved, despite increasing populations, fewer and fewer people are malnourished.


  2. I used to do a lot of work in India. I remember at one time a set of discussions in the media about Tesco trying to open a series of supermarkets and smaller shops. The Indian government were (quite reasonably) opposed to this, because of the impact it would have on farmers’ incomes and small traders.

    Tesco’s argument was to point out that less than 40% of the food grown in India makes it to the local shop, because of wastage in the distribution and storage system. Literally, 60% of the food perishes.

    In general, India doesn’t have a food shortage problem. Poverty in India is more about a lack of money than a lack of food. But the debate did highlight that the rural model of production does not translate easily to an urban model of consumption. Considerable expertise is needed in between. It is interesting that Pope Francis (via Pepinster) neglected to mention this, given that it is very much the most important aspect. God, it seems, can understand the production and consumption of food, but not the distribution and storage of food.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s