Last week the British government's Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) began sending "food champions" door to door in Herefordshire and Worcestershire to counsel people on portion sizes, creative use of leftovers, freezer maximization, and the differences between "sell by," "best before," and "use by" dates. The personal pestering is a test for a nationwide program aimed at reducing disposal costs and carbon dioxide emissions by reducing food waste. "If all 25 million households in the UK were visited in the same way," the Telegraph estimates, "8,000 officials would be required at a cost of tens of millions of pounds." And don't forget the leaflets: 24,500 for the pilot program, 25 million or so for the full-blown version. All in the name of waste reduction.

Peter Ainsworth, the shadow environment secretary, thinks WRAP's "Love Food Hate Waste" campaign is "stating the obvious," while Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, deems it "a prime example of excessive government nannying," not to mention "a waste of public money and resources." WRAP spokeswoman Julia Falcon argues "there is a benefit to residents, because if they can cut back on what they throw in the bin, they will make a personal saving." And how could they possibly know that without a visit from their friendly neighborhood food champion?

[via The Freedom Files]