Outrageous Protection

Spot the merchandise

The parcel arrived at last. I’ve been waiting for some time to get my German language CDs. The size of the box promised an abundance of learning materials, though it did feel rather light.

When I unpacked it my expectations diminished as I removed each layer of packaging – some air-inflated plastic bags, two sheets of bubble wrap, a largish box covered with useful looking words and then inside this, another cardboard shape to keep the precious cargo from wobbling around too much. No book, which I’d hoped for. Just the CDs, and these were safely stored in a smart padded CD case.

Haven’t they heard of jiffy bags?

This is not the first time this has happened and I’m finding it increasingly disturbing. I appreciate the need to ensure an item reaches from A to B intact, but in trying to achieve this, why discard all common sense in the process?

I think of all the thousands parcels flying from one place to another on a daily basis. I think of all the packaging. Where is it all ending up?


Feed the Pigs

Dordogne 2013 (53)I loved school dinners. It was in the days when the food was cooked in large metal dishes in big school kitchens and served up by dinner ladies with hairnet-like hats on their heads. Well, that’s how I remember it. At the end of the meal we all had to take our plates up to a table where there were two large, probably aluminium, bowls. One was for the cutlery and the other for the leftover food. I remember them because on one occasion I tipped my cutlery into the wrong bowl and watched my poor knife and fork slowly sink…  I know that all this leftover food, hopefully with the cutlery removed, was then dispatched to a local pig farmer to feed the pigs.

I was reminded of this because just recently I interviewed a very elderly gentleman who once worked as a farm labourer on a farm on the South Downs. I asked him whether he remembered giving the pigs waste food and he told me how a lorry would go round the pubs and restaurants to pick up the waste food, bring it back to the farm and boil it up in huge tubs. It was then mixed with flour to stiffen it up and given to the pigs.

This practice has been banned for years now and it’s understandable because of the risks of spreading various diseases, but surely we are now scientifically adept enough to deal with this sort of problem?

I thought I’d just have a look and see if things were really as bad as I thought they were, when lo and behold, look what I found – http://thepigidea.org/

I’ve signed the pledge!