Food waste: the old and the new habits

A quick fact says that « if we all stop wasting food that could have been eaten, the benefit to the planet would be the equivalent of taking 1 in 5 cars off the road. »

Perished food, ugly vegetables and leftovers are not an interesting subject. They look/smell horrible and we don’t wanna have to deal with it. Despite this, some people make their living out of it.

Installation Palais de Tokyo
Artist Fabrice Hyber – Organique nature

Making a healthy business out of garbage

Take for example Culinary Misfits, a vegetarian a catering service in Berlin or this collaborative supermarket in London. In Paris, I know some people who have been organising groups to recycle food waste by collecting and giving it to the collective gardens « les jardins partagées » in the city or to the farmers who deliver them some bio-products in exchange.

Europe launches a campaign against food waste 

I laugh at this campaign, knowing from experience, that in my hometown in Romania we used not to throw any food. Not even a piece of moldy bread. My family gave every leftovers to our uncle’s pigs and chickens. Now, my uncle is not allowed to have a pig anymore, after the EU standards. Not mentioning about the lost in the taste of food with a piece of great meat coming from my uncle, I try to see what we’re losing now when we talk about food waste.

Emerging markets = waste markets

In Romania, where old good practices are not cool anymore, a new behaviour overpasses common sense. There you have this new consumer, a greedy, limitless one, willing to buy everything.

Sales are a phenomenon everywhere. People even die to buy. But if you’ve missed Black Friday and you want a freaky shopping experience, you should try Romanian markets during winter holidays.

23th of December. That is the true end of the world day. You will see how everything must disappear (without any push message). Just hungry people who buy everything they see, NOW, because later it’s like they will not find anything, anymore. I don’t doubt, there is probably a psychological effect of not having access during a long time of communism to all this food and products, that makes Romanians buy so much.

We need to indulge a healthy consuming behaviour to our children  

Because Christmas is coming and every Romanian will fill the shopping cart with more than we can put in a back of a car, I encourage you to think. How can we stop this generation from influencing the next one to do the same?

I will now call my mum to ask her again, like every year before the holidays, not to stay 5 days in the kitchen to prepare a ton of food for four people for Christmas. That is the occasional exception, when she forgets about not buying more than we need. Either way she says we should never buy more than 2 days quantity of perishable food.

The thing is everyone can find an occasion or an excuse. But throwing food away is a big problem. And if you wait for Santa Claus or EU to solve it, forget it. Try to do something on your own!

For example: a woman told me she puts the waste to her flowers during the winter, so they can grow faster and stronger in the springtime. you can do that also!

At Mutinerie – the very cosy and always eventFULL coworking space in Paris, people organize a party for recycling Christmass in hyperconsuming times. Maybe you wanna join it on Facebook Réparons & Re-Parons Noël !

My friend JB who posted the video of the campaign on his fb determined Aurélian to send a message to EU Commission. I’m also curious to know what EU will do beside this pretty visual campaign. If you have any other suggestions, tweet @EU_consumer / EU_Commission.

For any other ideas or examples, leave a comment. I’ll be glad to read it 🙂

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