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How to save on that grocery bill: eat less food

by | 23rd, November 2012

PA 10161244 How to save on that grocery bill: eat less food

THIS somewhat surprises me. Unilever, which sells lots of food, is trying to tell people to buy and waste less food. Seems pretty odd really: killing your own business even.

You can see the advice here: all pretty standard stuff, plan your meals, only buy what you need, eat it before it goes off etc. The one and only bit that actually seems useful is this:

Remember to keep your fridge temperature below 5oC. Research shows that up to 30pc of our fridges are too warm, meaning food won’t last as long as it could. Milk goes off much quicker if the fridge is just a few degrees too warm.

Hmm. OK.

However, there’s two points to make over and above this sensible advice. The first is that I’m pretty sure that we humans like having food around to waste. Until the last 50 years or so the basic human question was, well, what do we have for lunch? Even, is there any lunch? This is when we weren’t asking, erm, am I going to be lunch? So it’s pretty much hard wired into us that food’s in short supply.

So, now that we’re rich (which we all indeed are, by any historical or even current global standard) we like to celebrate a bit of that richness by having a bit of spare food around.

The second is, well, why one earth is someone who sells food trying to get us to buy less food? To which I think the answer lies in the way that supermarket special offers are paid for. It ain’t, at all, the supermarket that swallows the BOGOF offers. It;s the food manufacturers. And no one manufacturer is going to be willing to refuse to fund such deals: competitors would just step in. But if the whole nation goes off the idea of getting cheapo food in sales offers then the manufacturers don’t have to offer cheapo food.

So, yes, there is a conspiracy behind it.

Photo: Rationing of butter, sugar, bacon, and ham started on January 8 when shopkeepers were busy cutting out customers’ coupons from their ration books when these commodities were purchased. A shop assistant cutting out a customer’’s coupons from a ration book in shop, Jan. 8, 1940. 



Posted: 23rd, November 2012 | In: Money, The Consumer Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink