Tesco's food waste: Didn’t we know all along that lettuce is a rubbish vegetable

On the other hand, I doubt the average customer throws away five peas a year

Share

Didn’t we know all along that lettuce is a rubbish vegetable? I did anyway. So it comes as no surprise to me to learn that bagged salad is the Tesco food product that gets thrown away the most.

We’ve learnt from Tesco that 33 per cent of bagged lettuce is lost before it ever makes it into the bag. I think I can identify the suspects at this stage (Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter). Another 35 per cent is binned by customers, proving that along with the bakery aroma it pumps into the air, Tesco has atomised some sort of hallucinogen which makes a third of lettuce-purchasers believe they like lettuce when they clearly don’t.

Lettuce needs to take a leaf out of the peas’ book: peas are an exemplary vegetable. I doubt if the average consumer throws more than five peas away each year (and those because they rolled on to the floor). Peas can be frozen and will still taste delicious when defrosted. You can chuck them in anything from a pasta sauce to a pie and they cook in two minutes. In short, they are practically trying to be eaten.

Meanwhile, lettuce can’t be cut with a metal knife or it goes brown. It sits accusingly in the salad crisper (or, as I like to call it, the diet coke dispenser), reminding you that you need to think of something to eat which goes with lettuce. It makes you pine for salad dressing, even though if you’re going to eat that much oil, you might just as well roast potatoes in it. It fails to comfort on cold wet days. It is either muddy or wet or, occasionally, both.

Tesco has promised to improve their food waste stats, by reducing buy-one-get-one-free offers on giant bags of salad, which is a start. These offers simply give you one and three-quarter bags more salad than a normal human being could eat. The only exception is spinach, which helpfully reduces itself to nano-spinach the second you throw it in a saucepan.

I would suggest that supermarkets consider stocking lettuce in portions people actually want. Or they could always put up a sign in the salad section, which reads: You don’t like lettuce – buy something differently green.

O’Toole spot-on once again

Most actors don’t make the kind of money that means they never need to work again once they turn 65: if an actor can speak, they can earn. Watch the new production of Richard II at Stratford and you’ll see actors in their 70s (Oliver Ford Davies and Michael Pennington) coming close to stealing the show.

But Peter O’Toole has never been like other actors. Although he played Hamlet at the National Theatre 50 years ago he won’t be at the NT’s anniversary bash next month. Why? Because he retired last year. It’s so unusual to see an actor reject a chance  for acclaim that people are astonished: how could he resist being part of the whole spectacle?

As so often in his career, O’Toole is giving the perfect performance. In this case, of someone who’s retired from the public eye, and actually means it.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL DBA (2005/2008/2012, projects, storage requirements)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

Copywriter - Corporate clients - Wimbledon

£21000 - £23000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Copywriter - London As a Copywrite...

Horticulture Lecturer / Tutor / Assessor - Derbyshire

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: As a result of our successf...

Retail Lecturer / Assessor / Tutor - Derbyshire

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Education are succ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Tiger skin seized from a smuggler by customs officers in Lhasa, Tibet  

Save the tiger: Poaching facts

Harvey Day
 

Save the tiger: 7 saddening facts about the extinction of Javan tigers

Harvey Day
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried