How individuals can fight food waste with Foodsharing
It happens to all of us. Whether we bought too much stuff and can’t eat it all before it goes bad or trying out that new dish that turns out to taste awful. We all throw out an unnecessarily high amount of food.
Some data upfront
Worldwide, a third of all edible food products ends up in the trash, around 1.3 billion tons every year(1). Here in Germany, it’s 18 million tons a year(2). A study estimated that, on average, around 527 kcal per capita are wasted each day (3), which translates to an additional 2 billion people that could be fed. I know what you’re thinking, how on earth are we even able to squander this much?
Reasons for wasting edible food
A huge chunk of crops doesn’t even make its way to the stores because it is sorted out for not living up to the strict standards that supermarkets have. That means, a ton of food is left to rot because the average Joe isn’t buying that apple with some brown spots on it. On their way onto the shelves, food products suffer from exposure to weather and delivery conditions. And since Joe wants the cheap apples from Spain and not the locally grown ones that cost more, they have to be brought all the way here, so some are bound to get damaged in the process. And finally, supermarkets must throw out products that are past their expiry date, therefore Beverages, dairy products, canned goods and stuff like rice and pasta that are perfectly fine to eat land in the trash container. It goes without saying that one individual cannot stop this deep-rooted problem and save us from this food waste mess – but what can you actually do to help, besides the obvious don’t throw away so much?
Foodsharing as an option to save edible food
There is this awesome internet platform called Foodsharing that set itself the goal to end food waste in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. 200,000 registered users contribute to the fight, and an estimated 7.8 million kilograms of food has been saved by the initiative already(4). So how does it work? Various supermarkets and bakeries that are part of the program give away edible goods to verified ‘Foodsavers’. To become one, you simply need to pass a test proving that you understand the dos and don’ts and you’re good to go. What’s making this whole thing even more attractive, especially to students or people in need, is that you save a lot of money in the process. You get to enjoy delicious food that you saved from landing in the trash and cut down your expenses on food, so that’s definitely a win-win in my book. I hope that I managed to generate some interest for this whole thing and maybe you will start saving food yourself. Together we can do something against this massive problem!
Author: Steven Degenkolbe