The real cost of prices are down down down

Food Waste

As part of their quest to win the Archibull Prize we invite the participating the schools to  write a blog which documents the journey of their artwork and their learnings. To engage the  whole school community including parents, staff and students within their school, as well as feeder schools and community partners we ask that their blog be a living document and the blog posts are published regularly for public viewing.

Have a look at a small sample of this years student’s blog. I guarantee you will be amazed and very proud of next gen

Secondary Schools where the big ideas are flowing

Model Farms High School

Trangie Central School

Tuggerah Lake Secondary College Berkley Vale Campus

Gunnedah High School

Shoalhaven High School

Menai High School

Archie Action in our Primary Schools

St Brigid’s Catholic Parrish Primary School

Bowral Public School

Avoca Public School

Barrack Heights Public School

We ask the students to explore some challenges to feeding and clothing the world and over the next few weeks I am going to share my thoughts ( and those of other fellow Australian bloggers and farmers ) on some of the issues we raise.

Today lets look at the too often overlooked wicked problem that is food waste.


To challenge the students we ask the students to investigate waste and why we waste so much. Scaringly Australians waste 4 million tonnes of food and organisations like Foodbank redistribute some of this waste to people in need.
The students learn about and understand how food wastage occurs including  poor purchasing choices and then we ask these bright minds to develop strategies to reduce waste.

Blogger Susie Green who blogs at Farming Unlocked recently penned this excellent and highly thought provoking post titled  The Real Cost of Perfect Food

As Susie reveals

A significant degree of waste is also occurring as a by-product of our seemingly insatiable demand for fresh produce that looks perfect, has consistent eating quality and is of perfect size and colour. Much of this waste is not even taken into account in the quoted 4 million tonnes worth of waste mentioned above.

Fresh produce that does not meet a required specification is often discarded before it even leaves the field. Perfectly good food is rejected for a minor blemish or for being the wrong colour, size or shape.


Further, growers are having to go to extraordinary lengths to produce this “perfect” produce; investing heavily in complex growing systems and fighting a battle they can never win completely to iron out the “imperfections” of nature. It takes a lot of effort and costs a lot of money to grow the perfect piece of fruit and vegetable. It takes even more effort to grow an entire field of exactly the same perfect fruit or vegetables.

Susie then shares the story of how Australia’s apple growers are tackling this challenge.


Susie’s blog has created quite a bit of discussion including these comments from fellow blogger Ann Britton

Ann Britton 1

Link to story Blemished fruit dumped despite perfect eating quality

Ann Britton

Link to story Crops up in Flames

and Susie reflects on the challenges she faces on a personal level ( she is not alone is she?)

The challenge lies in how we can collectively make a change. I face a constant uphill battle with my own children (only 4 and 6 yo), who I struggle to get to eat a blemished piece of fruit. I haven’t brought them up that way – it is just somehow a natural trait to look for something that looks nicer. As long as they have that choice, they will pick the better looking fruit every time. Perhaps it does need a very clever marketing strategy. I just hope we can position ourselves to make the change before we reach a situation that is forecast in the following article.

What does it say about us as nation that we have the luxury of demanding perfect food at rock bottom prices and believing it is a birth right when 870 million people, or one in eight people in the world, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. Almost all the hungry people, 852 million, live in developing countries, representing 15 percent of the population of developing counties.

Susie’s blog has helped kick-start the discussion and is generating great conversations. Will the world talk or act?. That is the decision of every single person  who says they care


Great articles here

Australia needs a Food Waste Strategy

The Disease Called Food Waste

It stinks, but food waste is feeding our hunger for energy


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