Now here’s one ‘veg’ you really should grow at home. WRAP, the UK Government waste advisory body, has found that UK consumers throw away 40% of all the bagged fresh leaves they buy. That’s 37,000 tonnes each year.
Those of use who buy bagged salad leaves will no doubt feel a guilty niggle too, as who among us has not thrown out a half bag of uneaten soggy leaves? At least we can hope that gardeners are consigning them to the compost heap/tumbler rather than the land waste bin, but what a waste or resources, including labour, seed, fertilisers, bagging, transport and shelf space.
Other countries like Australia (ABC TV’s War on Waste) and the US have found similar levels of waste and of course, rotting vegetable matter in land waste produces methane, a much more destructive greenhouse gas than CO2.
Add to that the high incidence of salmonella, listeria and e.coli in bagged salad leaves. In this study, an initial 100 salmonella bacteria in bagged salad leaves on opening multiplied into 100,000 bacteria in the same bag after just 5 days in the fridge.
It’s the best argument yet for growing your own ‘cut-and-come-again’ salad leaves, like lettuce varieties and rocket. Or eating wild-growing and weed substitutes!
Read Marcelle’s advice about what and how to grow your own fresh salad here.