Food Waste Petition – Do you part now!

In continuance of a post about Dumpster diving last week, I would like mention about France’s supermarket waste law. I’m sure you all are aware that France has banned supermarket to throw away the unsold food. Instead they now need to give it away to food charities or to the homeless people. If they do this, they can get a tax write off by showing receipts that they gave the unsold food to the charities. What a BRILLIANT move!

Young right-wing politician, Arash Derambarsh, who says he was outraged by the sight of homeless people last winter scrambling in supermarket bins. So he started an online petition which made this into a law in France. Now he is planning to move this law into other countries of Europe.

Although some point out that of the 7.1m tonnes of food wasted in France each year, according to the Ministry of Ecology, 67% is wasted by consumers themselves, and another 15% by restaurants, while shops and distributors waste 11% of the total.

Imagine how much is being wasted in entire Europe?

You can either take out the unsold stuff yourself from the dumpster but they wont let you do that. They take it illegal but how can someone allow to get so much food wasted?

He needs 1 million signatures. You find the link here. I have done my part. It may not be fruitful in the end but at least the government will have to consider it. They can chose to take no action but at least there is an initiative from someone.

Dumpster Diving – Written by Philipp Mitterhofer

I’m Philipp and I study Geography at the University of Copenhagen. In my studies and in my personal life I am very interested in sustainability. What interests me the most is the complexity of the many issues we face today. Food waste is one of these issues where many factors play a role and that is hard to tackle. Along the whole value chain of food production, waste is produced: the farmers have to comply with rigorous standards, supermarkets and wholesale throw out huge amounts of food as well as restaurants, catering firms and private households. It is a huge issue.

I have recently started to dumpster-dive, which means that I get on my bike at night, drive to nearby supermarkets and go through their trash looking for edible food. There are several reasons why I do it.

I started dumpster-diving because of the sense of adventure; it feels like going on a treasure hunt. Dumpster-diving is a legal grey area, it’s not illegal but it is frowned upon, this adds to the feeling of adventure and makes the whole thing even more fun. As time progressed I realized just how much perfectly fine food one can find and how much money one can safe. I find most of the stuff I need doing this and dumpster diving has almost become an obsession of mine. I hate doing grocery shopping as much as I love going dumpster-diving.

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Why is so much food wasted?
When we talk about dumpster diving we need to talk about food waste and if we talk about that we also need to look at packaging. Most things that are thrown out are 90% perfect: the package of grapes with one or two gone bad, the pack of 12 peaches with one that’s mouldy, or the salad where the outer leaves are a little brown. The list goes on but what most things have in common is that the only reason they are thrown in the trash is that everything is nicely packed so you buy more at once.

Once I start going dumpster-diving I realized that there is something really wrong in how the system works. In Denmark, where I currently live, every year 167.000 tons of foods are thrown out by supermarkets and wholesale. This is only a part of the bigger problem of food waste but this is where decided to take action. Dumpster diving won’t solve the problem of food waste. Much more political action is needed, your action is needed! Consumers have the choice to actively buy stuff that may look a little less appealing in order to save it from being wasted. Ask your supermarkets how they address the issue. Do you get a discount on products close to their expiration date? Asking about these things can be a first step towards less food waste!

For me dumpster-diving is a small act of rebellion against the system, my try to make a small dent in the mountain of food waste.
Join the movement ! Find an open dumpster in your town and jump in!

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New way of not wasting the food – Apps are online now!

Few days ago a friend of mine spoke about an app or in fact there is an fb page too or if I can continue this sentence with another platform in US where you can give away extra food to homeless people or to those who live in shelter, doesn’t that sound wonderful. Well, it is a reality and it is growing in a big way.

If you are going away on holidays and you have some stuff left which will be ruined in few days and you can finish it yourself ( because you just went out for a dinner with your friends and you leave early morning next day), all you need to do is to post this on fb or on the app on your phone and someone will come to pick it up. It could be any random person or a poor student living on a budget or a super rich dude who doesn’t like wasting food.

I love this idea. When you get to know that around 40% of the food gets wasted in developing countries like in India, I feel we should not waste the food on the plate. Either save it for next day or stuff it/swallow it until it finishes.

You have to consider yourself lucky. You are lucky enough to be born into a family where food was not in a short supply or you are hard working enough to earn good enough to afford whatever you want so WHY TO WASTE IT!

Even in the EXPO recently, they spoke about these tools to not waste food and give to someone who is in need.

If you can’t eat it, forward it!

Documentary Review – ‘Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story’

Few days back I saw this amazing documentary called ‘Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story’. Why amazing? Because I really hate wasting food. Sometimes when I waste food ( could be because the food was overcooked till the colour black or I am really nervous). Yes, I am one of those whose appetite goes for a toss when I am sad or nervous.

I am an Indian so this subject of wasting food is also very close to heart( in a bad way). 40% of the food do not even reach the consumers in India because of bad cold storage in India.

You can read more about the cold storage problem on this article. It’s quite interesting and informative.

However, I would like to talk about the documentary.

The reviews are amazing so i am not going to say remarkably different from other reviews but we will soon find out what I really have to say.

The couple in this documentary ( the husband is the director of this documentary) take up the challenge of eating discarded food for 6 months.

They decide to quit grocery shopping and to survive only on discarded food. Before beginning to watch the documentary, i thought it might be related to people wasting food in restaurants but I was wrong. It’s related to how the supermarkets take only the ‘good looking food’ and rest of the food is thrown again. I can talk really in detail about this documentary but I do not wish to ruin the surprises and fun for you. Only thing I could say or to decide is to waste lesser food than before.

In fact, I just scanned my fridge to see which things I can eat before they expire ( apparently there were many).

While researching for this documentary, I also discovered that the couple has done a previous documentary related to waste food which I am going to see this week, I’m sure you will find about that soon.

Just one more interesting data, the couple only managed to spend less than $200 to buy some stuff and managed to find more than $20,000 for food. What and how they managed to find it, check out this interesting documentary. Totally recommendable.

Written by: Pushkar Sabharwal