What is this ‘food surplus’ that supermarkets throw out? If it is good, edible food, why would they throw it out? Surely they only throw out spoilt food?

The supermarkets’ business model guarantees they can supply everything you need at premium freshness all the time. To meet this guarantee, supermarkets must be constantly OVER-supplied to ensure freshness and demand, which creates a massive waste margin of perfectly good, edible food. This is what we call ‘food surplus’. Every time a new delivery of fresh produce comes in, all that food surplus is thrown out to make room for the new delivery. If you want an idea of how big the waste margin is, think about how often you’ve seen a supermarket fresh produce section even close to empty – almost never, right? That’s because the waste margin has to be big enough to cover the greatest predictable sales. Therefore, food is not trashed because it’s spoilt, it is trashed because it is surplus. Most food we’ve seen thrown out is well within ‘best before’ date.