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There has been some interesting reporting recently in the Guardian about this case, in which three men who had taken dumped food from a supermarket skip in London were prosecuted for theft. (The charges were dropped at the request of the supermarket management -- whether for sincere reasons or PR reasons is difficult to know.)
I think prosecuting people for using food which would otherwise be wasted is an ethical misuse of the law. It is also truly alarming just how much supermarkets throw out. As was pointed out in the comments on this article, though, not all the responsibility for this sorry state of affairs lies with the retailers. Shoppers have come to expect supermarkets to carry everything, all the time, with no regard to seasonality. A supermarket geared to reducing waste, like a small restaurant, would offer less variety. That seems to me a price eminently worth paying.
Does anyone know of good research on schemes for reducing the amount of food waste in modern distribution processes?
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