After talking to people, it feels like I’m not the only one who hates food waste.
There are few key things that can be done to avoid wasting, and we’re surely all aware of them: checking regularly what you have in your fridge, using SuperCook to find recipes after informing what you have, freezing your surplus of food, etc.
Even though these exist, sometimes it’s just not possible. For example, you might not have a freezer or you might have a very tiny one, like mine, where space is limited.
Whatever the effort we put to avoid wasting, sometimes it just happens.
So, why are we wasting?
A couple months ago I interviewed 50 people from London asking them about their main reasons for wasting food. And it showed interesting results! They came back with the following answers, to name a few:
The quantities available in the packaging of food stores are too big, and therefore they end up buying more than they actually need.
Without intending to, they’d forget about an item and would let it expire.
Whilst the 1st reason could’ve been easily avoided, the 2nd reason is challenging. It’s true that sometimes you don’t expect your food to turn bad so quickly.
As mentioned above, even though I hate food waste, that’s what happened to me a few weeks ago with strawberries which weren't edible 2 days after I bought them.
Oops I wasted again…
But what’s the real impact of wasting?
The consequences of food waste are actually crazy and yet we don’t realise it when we throw away the food in our bin.
⅓ of the food produced is wasted. It means that ⅓ could have been saved - which could have saved lands, water and lives and even could have fed the hungry.
On top of that, wasting produces 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions (2x of the annual emissions by cars driven in the US and Europe in a year) and has damaging correlated effects on the planet we live in:
Extreme poverty and food insecurity. Today there are more than 900 million people victims of food insecurity (It’s more than 12x of the population of the UK!!!).
Less access to water.
Loss of species and ecosystem.
Throwing of glacial masses.
Desertification of fertile area.
What’s the behaviour change needed?
All the efforts we put in stopping food waste can’t be that impactful if we make them alone.
If I were the only one on the planet, the impact would be minor, and even null.
We should bear in mind that there are billions of other people in the world who surely experience wasting, not necessarily often, but occasionally, as we do as individuals.
It’s hard to have a vision of a whole, rather than a vision of ourselves, but we should, in order to change our behaviour and start caring more about our resources.
What’s the solution to all this?
From what I see, the most impactful and easiest way of stopping food waste is by providing neighbours with a space where they can share extra food any time they need. And Food Next Door does just that!
Food Next Door (FND) gathers neighbours of a building or a road into a space dedicated to food sharing for everyone to be able to share their extra food among themselves and reduce food waste.
With FND communities, it's entire neighbourhoods that can be done with wasting: when neighbours share extra food, they don’t waste it AND they prevent other neighbours from buying the same item by offering it for free in 1 min.
Also, the best way I found to prevent my neighbours from wasting is by asking them for a small portion of an item that I'd have bought in too large of a quantity otherwise.
It also reminds them about what they have in their fridge which would have eventually expired over time.
Here’s an example of a donation that happened on Food Next Door.
If you too think we should be together to reduce the huge amount of waste we produce daily - contact me.