It’s interesting how selective memories from our childhood can be, often dredging up the most inconsequential events from the distant past while blotting out key markers.

I have a recollection of being made to sit at the lunch table until the skies above darkened all because I refused to eat my portion of peas. I thought peas were the most ghastly food on the planet but eventually forced them down with large gulps of water to ease their passage down my throat, bypassing the chewing process completely.

My mother knew what she was doing. I have very few food horrors that have followed me into adulthood.

My pea moment wasn’t life-changing but it probably helped to shape my own expectation of clean plates all round at family mealtimes. If there does happen to be any waste the dog or the chickens gobble it up. Never a crumb ever goes into the bin.

It is therefore hard to accept how farmers who are contracted to supply supermarkets are at times forced to leave their crops uncollected in the fields, because their buyer won’t let them sell the surplus.

This situation mostly arises because many retailers are unable to accurately forecast consumer demand for these products. And as a consequence, millions of tonnes of food are wasted in this country every year.

I’ve heard it suggested that perhaps farmers with surplus crops should be permitted by their buyers to invite locals onto their farms to dig up the unwanted vegetables, charging a small 'parking' fee to make it worthwhile financially.

This would at least ensure that the crop is not wasted and that the food stays local. And farmers could generate some income from the parking fee.

It’s an interesting concept but probably unworkable for many reasons. The nature of contracts mean that farmers are committed to selling only to their buyers which means that surplus vegetables are often ploughed back into the soil.

It may be left to the next generation to really get to grips with the problem of food waste. Children are taught about recycling at school and do seem to influence their parents to recycle more.

Children are well informed about saving energy and recycling packaging. Perhaps it’s now time to educate them in how to waste less food. Children often go shopping with their parents and could be influential in stopping parents buying too much food and then throwing it away.

Apparently the average family in Britain throws away £400 worth of food every year. Perhaps they should have been made to sit at the table to eat up their peas when they were younger too.