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Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal [Paperback]

Tristram Stuart
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 July 2009
With shortages, volatile prices and nearly one billion people hungry, the world has a food problem – or thinks it does. Farmers, manufacturers, supermarkets and consumers in North America and Europe discard up to half of their food– enough to feed all the world’s hungry at least three times over. Forests are destroyed and nearly one tenth of the West’s greenhouse gas emissions are released growing food that will never be eaten. While affluent nations throw away food through neglect, in the developing world crops rot because farmers lack the means to process, store and transport them to market. But there could be surprisingly painless remedies for what has become one of the world’s most pressing environmental and social problems. Travelling from Yorkshire to China, from Pakistan to Japan, and introducing us to foraging pigs, potato farmers, freegans and food industry directors, Stuart encounters grotesque examples of profligacy, but also inspiring innovations and ways of making the most of what we have. Combining front-line investigation with startling new data, Waste shows how the way we live now has created a global food crisis– and what we can do to fix it.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (2 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141036346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141036342
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


jaw-dropping ... compelling - a must-read ... Stuart has an unanswerable case --Sunday Times

The Sun

Tristram Stuart lifts the lid on the obscene levels of produce ending up in landfill ... read it and weep

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Starvation solutions 29 Nov 2009
This book points the finger in the right direction. There is plenty of food. Farmers have no problem to grow plenty but do have a problem to get a proper price because there is an oversupply.Food has never been cheaper in history than it is nowadays.
Due to oversupply and high outer quality standards, there is a lot of outgrade for second and third class and there is no appreciation for what we harvest, so we throw a lot away.
Just all this waste can feed us.To be aware what is really going on in food supply and where there is a solution, read this one.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our throwaway society. 8 July 2009
This is such a mind-blowing book that everyone should be forced to read it and it should be part of the schools' curriculum.

The numbers alone suggest we grow and/or import stuff just to bin it; one billion tomatoes, nearly two billion bananas and how about nearly half a billion unopened yoghurt tubs. These are just a few of the statistics which pretty much amounts to 400 or more per year per household.

But this is certainly not just a list; the author informs how we can try to alleviate the problem. My own household has an almost empty wheelie bin, we compost everything and rarely discard newspapers but not everyone can do this. Lack of space is one reason and yet this problem, too, can be overcome.

However, rules and regulations stacked against manufacturers is a major part of the problem, too. The pages of who throws what away and why leaves this reader with the dreadful statistic that North America and Europe throw away enough to feed the world's undernourished several times over. Staggering.

It's a must read book of nearly 500 pages but don't be put off by a school-teacher approach that we must all eat our bread crusts; mine go to help feed the birds.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, well researched and informative 8 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this book very absorbing and read it from cover to cover in a couple of days.

Tristram Stuart's style of writing is easily read and yet at the same time remains academic and factual. The facts are well cross referenced and where Stuart makes estimations, he clear that these are just such and explains how he has arrived at these.

The amount we as a society waste is certainly staggering. What makes the situation worse is that the fact that it has become harder and harder to use food waste to feed livestock such as pigs and chickens. As a consequence, not only does the calorific value of waste food get lost, we have to grow more food from scratch (such soya by cuttng down rain forest) to feed live stock in order to satisfy the every increasing demand in the world for meat.

Interestingly, this book is on my son's university course's suggested reading list, so it must carry some weight in the academic world too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely insightful book 6 Sep 2010
By ASax
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is an amazing piece of work by the author. It presents copious amounts of facts and figures on the amount of food waste that is generated (primarily in the UK but also worldwide). Tristram Stuart presents his argument through various types of food and how it is wasted throughout the food chain. For anyone who is concerned about food waste please read this. It will really make you change the way you think about food and how to reduce its wastage. The amount of research that has gone into this book is phenominal and it is a really good consolidation of information regarding the different types of food waste.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite chastening - worse than I ever envisaged 3 Sep 2009
Having been brought up in an environment in which waste was never acceptable (we were at war with Germany) I find it totally abhorrent that not only do supermarkets and shops consider it to be satisfactory to deal in excessive quantities in order to maximise profit but more so is the shocking waste created by consumers, when thousands in the world and especially children and babies and dying for thr want of the simplest of food.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book worth reading!! 25 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent book worth reading! I read this book once before from the library and had to add this book to my kindle collection! The book demonstrates the amount of food waste that goes on with the supermarkets and how better food resource management could help feed the rest of the world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars well worth a read 20 May 2013
By dave
An interesting, informative and very challenging book which opens the lid on our world attitude to waste. Well worth a read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Please read this important book! 24 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Being a researcher for my own books and talks on waste reduction, I've read many a book on this subject, but it is this book by Tristram Stuart that really made me pull my finger out and decide to do something about my concerns over the amount of waste, food and other, that we are a prepared to dismiss as 'normal' or even 'acceptable'.

It is probably 10 years or more since I have allowed any food waste from my home to go to landfill. But reading 'Waste'has made me consider even the small amount of food that I waste (in the form of composting it) and I have found many ways to cut this down significantly. There's the added advantage, of course, of making significant money savings - much needed in this current climate of austerity, which maybe will end up doing us all some good.

Of course it is a global problem, but with the heightened sense of awareness from reading this book I firmly believe we can all do our bit to rethink our attitudes to waste. There is still so much room for improvement. Read this book and you will (I hope) find yourself compelled, like I did, to change and to demand change around you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Most informative book i've read in years
You won't believe some of the (recent) facts that this book eloquently presents to the reader about food waste. Read more
Published 13 months ago by kaia garcia
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Star book - Oh yes!
Real answers are what this book contains. Everyday I am sickened by the food waste I see all around me and now this book has explained to me the impact that this waste has all over... Read more
Published 16 months ago by A. Parsons
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone who eats
Every person who eats in order to live should read this book. The others, can skip it. It is a definite "must read".
Published 17 months ago by Nando Aidos
1.0 out of 5 stars Global Publishing Scandal
Amazon - why is the Kindle edition more expensive than a paperback? Who is ripping off whom? You do not blame the publisher for this - so is it you?
Published on 8 Mar 2012 by Steve Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - what possibilities
Ttristram Stewart's excellently researched book "Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal" is filled with stories about how blatantly we waste our abundant resources, and on that... Read more
Published on 31 Jan 2012 by Feidhlim Harty
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Informative
The research and references in this book make it worth reading alone. The bible of the food waste industry.
We still don't really know what the supermarkets are up to. Read more
Published on 23 Oct 2011 by N. Thorne
3.0 out of 5 stars Why is the kindle edition more expensive than the paperback?
I am a keen reader and willing to pay up for a good book. With the kindle becoming ever more ubiquitous, I fail to understand why the paperback comes in cheaper than the electronic... Read more
Published on 4 Jan 2011 by S Klamp
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality shock
It's a must reed. What Tristram Stuart reveals about the reality of our way of treating food is shocking and appalling and a real eye opener!
Published on 1 Oct 2010 by Veronika
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