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

MI Analyst – Permanent – West Sussex – £25k-£35k

£25000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Senior Pensions Administrator

£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery NurseI am currently...

KS2 Teacher

£21000 - £34000 per annum + Excellent rates of pay, CPD, Support : Randstad Ed...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Photo issued by Flinders University of an artist's impression of a Microbrachius dicki mating scene  

One look at us Scots is enough to show how it was our fishy ancestors who invented sex

Donald MacInnes
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp  

Oscar Pistorius sentence: Judge Masipa might have shown mercy, but she has delivered perfect justice

Chris Maume
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album