Eating challenges and all you can eat restaurant deals have gone so stale they should be banned, according to waste solution specialist BusinessWaste.co.uk.
BusinessWaste.co.uk argue that in an age of food shortages, food banks and incredible amounts of food waste, there is no room for the over-consumption of food as entertainment.
The rise of eating challenges and all you can eat food offers is creating an excess of food waste at a time when many people are in desperate need, and BusinessWaste.co.uk are calling for a complete ban on such promotions.
In addition to the shortage of food for those living in poverty, BusinessWaste.co.uk are also drawing attention to the obesity epidemic, which puts a huge strain on our NHS both now and in the future.
Mark Hall spokesperson for BusinessWaste.co.uk said: “We’re living in a time of massive disparity and inequality, where so many people are using food banks to survive, that the idea of eating as much as you possibly can just for fun is incredibly insulting and ignorant.
“While some people don’t have enough to eat, we’re throwing away food on offensive challenges like these, most of which ends up as waste anyway. Almost 80% of food from these kinds of activities have been found to end up in the bin rather than going where it’s desperately needed.
“And that’s before we even begin to look at the problem we have with obesity today. More and more children are clinically obese and it’s having a terrible effect on their current and future health. All you can eat challenges and restaurant offers are setting a very bad example to children that eating too much is both normal and fun.” Said Hall
Poverty has risen to such an extent that homelessness has increased for the sixth year in a row, with over 4,100 people estimated to be homeless in the UK in 2017.
Food bank use has risen for the ninth successive year, with the 2000 UK food banks serving 1.2million meals to families in need. But at the same time, 1.6million children in this country are starting their school years overweight.
BusinessWaste.co.uk are not alone, with signs that the public are also becoming disillusioned with the concept of eating to excess for entertainment.
Sarah Walker, 44, from London said: “I try to bring my kids up with a healthy diet so they get into good habits while they’re young. They see all these stupid challenges on the internet encouraging people to stuff their faces for a laugh, and they think it’s a laugh but I won’t let them do it themselves.
“As a family, we’ve had times when we couldn’t afford to waste food and as lucky as we are now I know there are still people out there who are where we used to be, it feels wrong to me to waste food like that.”
NHS nurse Lisa, 30, said: “I see so many children who are overweight now, it’s heartbreaking. A lot of the time it’s due to poor education about what’s healthy and what’s not, as well as their parents being too poor to buy fresh food that’s good for them, so they eat a terrible diet and suffer as a result.
“I think challenging people to eat as much as they can is irresponsible and disgusting when I see the real effects of poverty and overeating every day.”
The all you can eat restaurant offer is a particular problem now, say BusinessWaste.co.uk, with 15% of the food waste in the UK produced by the restaurant sector.
However, BusinessWaste.co.uk have a solution that they think could be the answer to the all you can eat problem. Their spokesperson said: “Restaurants are producing over 3 million tons of waste every year, which is outrageous.
“In our opinion these challenges should be banned, but if they insist on doing all you can eat challenges they should paying for two homeless meals for everyone one unnecessarily huge meal they serve to each customer.”
The restaurant industry has yet to respond, but BusinessWaste.co.uk encourage the Government to look into the practice of all you can eat challenges as part of their economic and environmental policies.
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