Environment, Food

Following in France’s Footsteps: A Sustainable Food Future

The French recently set an awesome example for the world: they banned large supermarkets from wasting unsold food. Yes, that’s right. You’d think a law as blatantly sensible as that would be commonplace by now. But no, France just became the first country to enact it this past December. BOOM.
Organizations like Disco Soupe in France are already coming up with innovative and exciting ways to spread awareness about food waste. Think: people, music, food and a festival-like atmosphere all rolled into a fun-filled experience aimed at breaking wasteful habits. Participants use unsold produce to make soups, salads, fruit juices, and smoothies at each “disco,” and then distribute them to the public totally free of cost.
As reported by The Guardian, the world wastes 1.3 billion tons of food every year. After the French Senate’s unanimous decision to pass a food waste law, advocates are now looking to the EU to urge member states to do the same.
Boroume (Athens, Greece) held an event to give viable supermarket leftovers to the poor.
Food charities in neighboring countries are waiting for an opportunity like this. For example, the Greek NGO Boroume acts as a middleman between supermarkets and food charities, facilitating the exchange of surplus food between them. Boroume provides supermarkets with an instructional guide to help them determine whether or not their extra goods are suitable for donation. The food is then collected by nearby welfare organizations, charities, and municipal social services that help people facing food insecurity.
Bar Kayma (Tel Aviv, Israel) maintains a green farm on their terrace solely using the waste from the kitchen of their eco-friendly restaurant.
So, how can you stay au courant with France, and all the other nonprofit organizations that strive to make food waste a glitch of the past? Here are two simple suggestions:
  1. Donate your excess food to charities and food banks. Doing so will help feed people in need while allowing you to take out the trash a little less often. And don’t forget about your furry friends! Animal shelters welcome donations, too. Just because animals can’t ask for it doesn’t mean we can’t share.
  2. Buy the less-than-perfect produce at the grocery store. Do your part as a consumer and prevent fruits and veggies from meeting their fate in the dumpster just because of cosmetic imperfections. Not every apple is as flawless as you, and those that aren’t, though perfectly edible and delicious, often end up in the garbage.
There, no long lists and no going out of your way. Look for functionality instead of beauty in your food, and when possible, donate what you don’t need to charity. If an entire country can come together to tackle food waste management, we as individuals can surely do our part.
The framework has already been established in many parts of the world. What we need is a global realization of just how real and terrifying the extent of food poverty is. Help the organizations around the world like Disco Soupe, Boroume, The Peninsula School Feeding Association and Bar Kayma do what they do best.
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Article by Rajvi Desai