The Sunday Guardian has picked up on the mech engineer’s report about food waste. They’re using the wrong numbers, of course. However, they do give us a very useful indeed number, a unit, one that can be used in all sorts of political and economic calculations.
Britain – and much of the rich world – has got used to filling the fridge with what looks nice, not what it actually needs. The cost of that indulgence is, says the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, £10bn annually.
OK. £10 billion is around 0.6% of GDP.
An alternative to voluntary change is to tax the food industry in just proportion to the damage it causes.
So, there we go then. Something that causes losses of 0.6% of GDP is a problem large enough that Something Must Be Done. Taxation, or regulation, or hang the bastards, something, this is a large enough problem that we have now triggered the need for action.
Which is just fine by me.
The EU wastes more than £10 billion of our money: Off with its head!
The NHS most certainly has waste of 7 or 8% of its budget: we must therefore reform it.
The collection of corporation tax costs the entire economy more than £10 billion a year. Abolish it.
The bureaucracy costs more than £10 billion: that intestines as jugular ligatures solution looks reasonable.
I think we should thank the newspaper for giving us such an obviously useful method of judging which problems are important enough that we ought to do something about them. If £10 billion is the benchmark then let us measure everything by that £10 billion number. The things that cost more than that we must reform.
There’s also this proof that the leader writers at The Observer are in fact just ignorant cunts:
Here we come to the uncomfortable core of the problem. Price is the key factor in our behaviour with food and food may, simply, be too cheap. Certainly, in Britain it is cheaper than at any time in history: we spend less than 10% of household income on food and drink. In 1950, we spent around 25%. In the developing world, 50% or more of income is spent on food. Tellingly, Britain spends less than any other country in Europe.
This is known as “a good thing”.
We’ve managed to solve the age old human problem: what to have for lunch. We’re richer than most of current humanity and all of past: we only spend 10% of our collective production on feeding ourselves. What sort of moron decries our having solved Adam and Eve’s problem, of having to labour in the fields all our lives?
Thinking about it probably the same people who decry that other great modernism, the abolition of pain in childbirth.
Ignorant, ignorant, fools.