Monday, 20 March 2017

Lecture on Food Waste

BP48/6/1, postcard showing a linet's nest amongst broccoli stalks at Barkers Lane allotments, 1927
(Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service)
Tuesday 20th March 1917: Mr F. B Willmer Phillips, Medical Officer of Health, delivered an interesting address on food waste at Bedford Town Hall. The meeting had been called by the Bedford and District Smallholders and Allotment Society. Mr Phillips opened his lecture by commenting on the thriftiness of the French when compared to the British. 38% of the land in Britain was uncultivated and the country was overly reliant on imports for commodities like sugar and wheat. Britain fared well in one area compared to other European countries – potatoes. Mr Phillips emphatically declared that in this time of crisis, no-one was justified in peeling potatoes, because in the process 15% of the food value was wasted. He concluded his lecture with a glowing tribute to the men of the mercantile marine.

Alderman Dunham motioned a hearty vote of thanks to Mr Phillips and thanked also the Allotment Committee for the work they were doing. The problem facing the Committee was not the lack of allotment holders, but the lack of allotments for all who applied for them. There was great enthusiasm for the work and threats had been made that if not enough were provided, the authorities would wake up to lots in Russell Park.

Source: Bedfordshire Standard 23/3/1917

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