We watched Great British Waste Menu last night and thought it was a very good programme. We always practice the rule of never throwing anything away. There is always some use for a bruised tomato or accidentally frozen cucumber. Yes, it is a waste menu programme with garbage can trophy. They were looking for that rubbish chef.

Previous series have seen the Great British menu chefs compete to cook for the Queen, ambassadors from around the world, and war veterans.

But now, the programme takes a twist as they create gastronomic delights from leftovers.

Four of the nation's top chefs, and Great British Menu veterans, Angela Hartnett, Richard Corrigan, Matt Tebbutt and Simon Rimmer journey deep into the heart of Britain's food waste problem, exploring how and why the nation throws away and reject huge quantities of perfectly edible food.

Cameras follow the chefs as they source shocking amounts of unwanted food from every link in the food chain - from supermarkets to ordinary homes, markets to farms - and then transform it into mouth-watering dishes.

And it's surprisingly fascinating as the chefs visit farmers who regularly discard tomatoes that aren't perfectly red and round; dairy producers who throw away perfectly good cheese and milk if the packaging is slightly damaged; and butchers who waste an extraordinary amount of perfectly edible meat on a daily basis. It all amounts to a tragic waste.

The chefs face a unique and near-impossible task: can they create a fabulous banquet for over 60 VIPs using the food that the rest of us don't want? Can they create restaurant-standard food using ingredients that have been discarded, rejected or deemed unsuitable for sale? Will they be able to change the way Britons think about waste food?

The Great British menu's usual line up of tough food critics - Matthew Fort, Prue Leith and Oliver Peyton, are joined by Jay Rayner to decide which dishes go onto the menu for the lavish banquet designed to prove that saving scraps is good.

As the chefs source their ingredients and the banquet unfolds, the solution to the scandalous food waste crisis reveals itself to be a simple one: just eat it.

Here is something written by Stewart Turner which will give you a wider understanding of the programme.

These days we'll only consume tomatoes if they look like freshly polished snooker balls. Knobbly carrots are sent straight off to the pig farm without so much as a five minute swansong on That's Life. But change is in the air, inspiring the BBC to send a collection of celebrity chefs off to pull horrified faces in Lincolnshire lettuce fields. Their task? To prepare a banquet for 60 VIPS (including Bill Oddie and Lembit Opik) from food which was on the brink of being thrown away.

Now here's a poser for you: What's worse than useless unless it's between 17 - 21cm long and has a diameter of at least 30cm? Thousands of courgettes are thrown away every single day for failing to live up to our demanding expectations. Most depressing of all was a Kentish fisherman's haul of 200 delicious slip soles destined to be chucked because they're deemed too tiny for our dinner tables. I was particularly annoyed: it's barely a couple of weeks  since I paid a tenner for one in a swanky Whitstable pub. That's some mark-up.

As the celeb chefs made their way around the nation's supermarket skips, the narrator reeled off all manner of shocking statistics. The average family wastes around £700 worth of food a year, and restaurants, supermarkets and farms are even worse culprits, chucking out prime cuts of beef, fresh eggs and gallons of decent milk like its going out of fashion. In these austere times, it's time to get creative with our food waste. In other words, it's time to rustle up some pigs head ravioli.

It's a worthy, compelling and important subject, and the statistics are genuinely shocking - but whether it merits a whopping 90 minutes of prime time TV is highly debatable. As it made its merry way around the nation's supermarket skips and abattoirs, The Great British Waste Menu couldn't decide whether to be a documentary, a Jamie-style campaigning programme or some kind of offal version of Masterchef.

1 comment:

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