While 800 million people around the world suffer from hunger or even starve to death, one third of all food produced goes to waste – more than 18 million tons per year in Germany alone. This shocking number leads back to several reasons:
- About 40-50% of harvest is not even considered by farmers as it does not meet our physical standards.
- Supermarkets throw away around 7% of all their stock due to optic and texture of the products and as a result of customer expectations regarding freshness and availability.
- Roughly 60% of the food waste is generated by private households as a consequence of a questionable consumer behavior.
When looking at these figures, one might get a slight idea of how different things could look like around the planet and how drastic situations could be improved for thousands of people, if food was distributed in a better way and the immense waste of food was reduced. Of course, a change like this can and will not happen over night but we can find more and more examples of initiatives and people starting to reduce their “foodprint”. So, why not joining this positive trend and contributing our share to a better world?! Actually, it is not even that hard…
In 2012, the initiative “Taste Before You Waste” was founded in Amsterdam with the aim of collecting surplus food (that would directly go to waste otherwise) and turning it into delicious dishes that are given out for free and/or in return for small donations. http://www.tastebeforeyouwaste.org/
“Foodsharing” has been active in several German cities since a few years and is a growing private network of food-savers that have already saved about 8,5 tons of food from going to waste, by sharing surplus food in public fridges for free. https://foodsharing.de/
In France, all big supermarkets are obliged to donate food instead of letting it go to waste, since 2015.
Last year, the first-ever surplus food supermarket “Wefood” opened its doors in Copenhagen, only selling products (at a discount of 30-50%) that regular supermarkets cannot sell anymore, due to overdue best-before dates or damaged packaging. https://donate.danchurchaid.org/wefood
And just a few months ago, a similar concept has been introduced in Cologne – “The Good Food” supermarket, where people can “pay-what-they-want” for expired products as well as veggies that are considered too small, too big, too wizened or too bent. http://www.the-good-food.de/
These kinds of initiatives do not only reduce the amount of food going to waste and have a positive impact but can also help to raise awareness and even to save some money by spending less on food. It is a wonderful development to see that there is a continuously growing amount of people interested and actively involved in this big positive change, so let’s jump on and join the ride!