Sunday, October 4, 2009


By Paul Broughton

I chatted to a professional scrounger yesterday. No, he wasnt selling big issues or asking for change for the bus. He entered the grounds of supermarkets, and took food out of their bins, huge bins, full of food, on or past their sell by date, perfectly edible and going to waste.

Why don't the supermarkets do something worthwhile with it you ask? Because they can't be bothered. It costs too much money to distribute, so they hide behind trading standards, health and safety, etcetera, etcetera. Hardly think a guy living rough on the street is going to reject a cooked chicken or salmon sandwich or a Victoria sponge, claiming it's out of date and threatening to sue. I digress.

The said scrounger would shop there everyday, feeding, sometimes clothing himself and his family. He had taken seeds, organic compost, herb plants and started his own little organic garden from where he was now harvesting healthy, pesticide free produce for his family to eat. God bless Sainsburys.

Now, this guy is no down and out living on social security, he is a long distance lorry driver. He does it to make the point about waste. Imagine every supermarket in this country and beyond discarding just two skip loads of perfectly edible produce every day, ferrying it to the tip and dumping it there to rot. Times that by three hundred and sixty five, times that by the million supermarkets around the world and what have you got? Madness is what you've got.

At the same time these big multi-nationals are squeezing farmers out of business with their low prices, forcing them to use more potent pesticides to obtain higher crop yields and introducing toxins into the food chain and consequently our bodies.

Become a supermarket guerilla, or, grow your own. We have to somehow halt intensive farming in all areas of produce for our own and our family's sake. Just a couple of herbs or vegetables to start with will make a difference if we do it as a collective. If you haven't got a garden try the hydroponic way. Have a few ideas on the website I am constructing at the moment.

About the Author

Actor, sometimes writer, on moving to the countryside, is in a unique position to review and endorse organic products, trying them on his own garden first, researching the information thoroughly. For advice visit,

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