Politicizing Waste Reduction Advice?

Well that’s unfortunate.

British politicians and/or the British media have politicized advice on reducing food waste. The Independent reported Environment Minister Richard Benyon’s remarks about families losing £50 per month through waste and follows it with objections from the opposition.

As an American, I’m not aware of all the subtle class machinations and tax policy at play here. But…it seems as if some people deem any words on avoiding food waste from Conservative Party politicians as insulting. To wit:

Mary Creagh MP, Shadow Environment Secretary, said:“Mums struggling to feed their families don’t need lectures on wrapping cheese from a Tory Government which has created a cost of living crisis with its failed economic plan.

It seems that these are two separate things. I’d imagine many people could still use some reminders about proper food storage and buying habits to avoid waste. AND the cost of food is rising, due to many factors.

I find this statement from Benyon to be pretty sensible:

Food wasted means fewer pounds in our pocket. Household bills are squeezed at the moment and we have the opportunity through a variety of different agencies to inform people better about where their food comes from and how to use it most economically.

It would be one thing if the Tories were saying families should cut waste as an alternative to hunger assistance or government programs, as the Mirror hints (without much basis, it seems–note what is and isn’t an actual quotation). But if it’s just good old conservative (lower case ‘c’) advice, that’s another thing.

To be clear, I understand how budget tips  from a millionaire (Benyon) could be hard to take. Especially if you dislike that politician or his party. But isn’t part of the Environment Minister’s job to curb food waste? Perhaps he’s just continuing the work of previous Labor Environment Ministers who said identical things (because they just make good sense). I’d love to hear your thoughts on the political and media implications of this duality.

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