Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/23269

Posted on 25 July 2016 at 13:33 GMT

Food waste - the logic of capitalism

Millions of tonnes of food is destroyed unused every year by capitalism, photo by dgu163 (Creative Commons)

Millions of tonnes of food is destroyed unused every year by capitalism, photo by dgu163 (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton

New figures that half of all food produced in the US is thrown away brings the question of the wastefulness of capitalism into sharp relief.

60 million tonnes of produce, worth $160 billion, is thrown away each year. It's the single biggest category of waste sent to landfill and incinerators in the US.

But that is just what is thrown away upstream - by supermarkets and in homes. The report includes the suggestion from US food waste campaigns, that a fifth of all fruit and vegetables produced are wasted at source for not conforming to perfection standards.

In recent years in the UK groups such as The Real Junk Food Project, have established pay-as-you-feel cafes which take waste food from supermarkets that is still edible and serve cheap nutritious food.

In some areas this has been a big help to those facing benefit sanctions and the insecurity of zero-hour contracts. However, in Sheffield even this group has been unable to cope with the amount of some food waste, recently suspending bread collections.

While these projects make a material difference to people's lives, they also highlight that the wastefulness of capitalism can only be overcome by challenging the logic of the system.

The driving logic is profit; to the extent that loss leaders in supermarkets are worth it if they take sales and profits away from competitors.

Production and distribution must be taken out of the hands of capitalist profiteers by nationalising the key industry sectors under democratic workers' control and management. The industry could then be integrated into a democratic plan of production based on the needs of society as a whole.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 25 July 2016 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Food:

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: How capitalism is poisoning our food

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: How would food production change under socialism?

triangle4m children in homes that can't afford fruit and veg

triangleThem & Us

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Waste:

triangleNo to Tory plans for radioactive waste under national parks

trianglePlastic waste - capitalism's Frankenstein monster

triangleSummer of discontent on the cards in Huddersfield bin workers' dispute

triangleFCC Environment strike solid

Capitalism:

triangleCorbynism three years on

triangleSocialism - the podcast offering Marxist analysis for the movement against capitalism

triangleThe renewed relevance of Engels' classic Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

Landfill:

triangleMay's "war on plastic" still puts profits before the planet

triangleComment: Socialism and truth about Zane

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

22/10/18

Labour

Corbynism three years on

17/10/18

Brexit

Tories' Brexit bust-up - general election now

17/10/18

Universal Credit

Universal credit = universal misery

17/10/18

Engels

The renewed relevance of Engels' classic Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

17/10/18

Mental health

Fully fund mental health services now

17/10/18

Saudi Arabia

Tory and Trump hypocrisy over murder of Saudi Arabian journalist

17/10/18

Pay

No to fat-cat top judges' 59k pay hike - fight for decent pay for criminal justice workers

17/10/18

Fracking

Toxic fracking gets the go-ahead while protesters jailed

17/10/18

Cardiff

Homeless driven from Windsor streets for royal wedding: abolish the monarchy and end homelessness now!

15/10/18

Socialism

Socialism - the podcast of the Socialist Party

10/10/18

Racism

Fight racism: fight for jobs, homes and services for all

10/10/18

Them & Us

Them & Us

10/10/18

Tories

Tories' crisis conference - Corbyn must fight for general election

10/10/18

Amazon

Workers' action wins Amazon pay rise

10/10/18

Capitalism

Workers in UK do 1.2trn of unpaid housework and care

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999