Household tips from the PM
G8 SUMMIT, HAKKAIDO, JAPAN: Has Prudence left the Treasury to move into the nation's kitchens? Will "Mr Brown's Book of Household Management" be the prime minister's next magnum opus? What tips does the PM have on how to turn your leftovers into a nice soup or a stew?
I suspect that the PM knew that he'd be mocked for his tip to the nation's households to save themselves eight quid a week by wasting less food. I suspect that he also knew, however, that it would be a story that the media couldn't resist and which would highlight that he was, at least, trying to do something about those soaring bills at the supermarket.
He is trying to demonstrate how people themselves as well as his government and the G8 can help us all to live with rising food prices. His aim is to demonstrate that he is helping top create a global plan to deal with one of the public's top concerns.
To cut prices, the prime minister wants to increase the supply of food and to decrease demand for it.
Thus, he wants the G8 to help Africa to double her food production.
Thus, a government commissioned report will today advise ministers on how they can ensure that subsidies for biofuels don't stop farmers growing corn for food to grow it to produce alternatives to petrol. The message of the Gallagher Report is, apparently, that the ministers should subsidise "good" biofuels - ie those that don't substitute for food - and not "bad" ones that do.
And, thus, the PM advises us not to bin the stuff we never quite got round to eating or, better still, not to buy it at all. Much more significant than that waste, of course, is the estimated 40% of food that never makes it from harvest to our tables and trays thanks to losses in the processing, storing and transportation of food.
Back when the G8 (or the G6 as it was then) was founded - in the early 70s - the leaders of the world's richest countries discussed how to change interest and exchange rates. These days they are relatively impotent in the face of similar pressures. That is why, perhaps, we're left talking about what to do with your leftovers. Risotto or omelette are my favourites...