Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is on a mission to change the way we think about waste, by challenging supermarkets and the fast food industry to drastically reduce the amount of waste they generate. We live in a country where one third of the food we produce never gets eaten, and the average family bins £700-worth of food a year. Hugh believes something needs to be done. First he confronts ordinary shoppers in the supermarket, armed with a wheelie bin. He’s going to try to take their shopping off them before they have even left the store… after all, they are only going to throw it away later in the week, so why not save them the bother of taking it home? Then he heads to a parsnip farm in Norfolk, where he uncovers the truth about the supermarkets’ strict cosmetic standards, which means that any slightly imperfect fruit or veg gets rejected. In a bid to get everyone in the country to think more about how much food we bin and what we throw away, Hugh goes undercover as a bin man. Poking through people’s bins, he gets to see first hand just how much stuff gets thrown away which shouldn’t be. He challenges the residents to drastically reduce the amount they throw away, and offers them tips and tricks to help them save food and money. Hugh is also concerned about the amount of food waste that is being generated by the fast food industry. He works out that KFC are throwing away a million chickens a year in the UK. When he confronts them about it, they announce an ambitious plan to redistribute over half of all their leftover chicken by the end of 2016. But will they live up to their promises?
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is on a mission to reduce the amount of waste that Britain produces. The good news is that all the British supermarkets make big bold claims about how little waste they produce, but what does it really mean? Hugh joins up with skip divers Sam Joseph and Catie Jarman, on an illicit midnight supermarket bin raid to rescue perfectly edible food that was destined for the dump. If Sam, Catie and Hugh hadn’t intercepted it, all this good food would have gone to a place called anaerobic digestion (AD), where food waste is turned into energy. This is fine if it has gone off or spoiled, but surely if it is edible, it should be given to people? Hugh then finds out that it is not just food coming out the back of the supermarkets that is going to waste. Most of the waste in the supply chain happens before the food even gets to the supermarkets. A national charity has made it their business to intercept as much of this food as they can and redistribute it to charities. They are feeding 80,000 people a day with food that would otherwise get thrown away, but this is only 2% of all the food waste out there. Hugh lays down a challenge to the supermarkets to commit to sending less of their waste to AD, and more to charity. In his bid to reduce the mountain of food waste that is being generated on Britain’s farms due to supermarkets’ strict cosmetic standards, Hugh gathers evidence from one farm in Norfolk and prepares to take it to one of the big four supermarkets. But it’s not just food that we’re wasting – shocked by how disposable fashion seems to have become, Hugh dumps seven tonnes of clothes in a shopping centre and asks for guesses on how long it takes us to throw away this much stuff. Answers range from three days to six hours but the truth is much much less than this. Yet there is always a better place for our clothes to end up than the bin.