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Food waste is an issue that concerns us all. Because the greatest waste of food actually takes place in private households. But it is not only there that food is thrown away without end. Supermarkets dispose of their goods far too early. The best before date has become too strong a guideline not only for retailers but also for consumers. There is also far too much waste from overproduction among food manufacturers. Then there are the restaurants, bakeries, small traders – I could go on and on this list. Because for some reason we like to hoard too much food. And then we throw them away without touching them. So how can you avoid unnecessary food waste?
Far too much food is thrown away every day in Germany – most of it comes from private households in the bin.
If you consider that an incredible number of people are hungry in this world, then it is all the more perverse that in our western world tons of food that is still edible is thrown in the trash every day. In Germany alone it is 18 million tons a year. In addition, many foods do not even go on sale because they do not meet the norm or because they have been overproduced.
And then there are the private households. We shop as if a famine could break out suddenly and at any time. The fridges and pantries are full. You quickly lose track of which foods you have and which should be consumed faster. In addition, the best-before date has replaced our own sense of taste. Instead of tasting, we look to a date that was chosen by the manufacturer as a guarantee of taste, and if in doubt, we simply throw away a good food.
In Germany alone, 18 million tons of food are wasted every year.
Not only do we harm our environment, we also completely lose touch with our food. Because what we see every day in the supermarket should not even be taken for granted: the shelves are always full. Everything is always available, even strawberries in winter. If we go to the bakery in the evening, we could theoretically buy a butter cake. But why should we need it? So he’s thrown away. The dealers would rather have too much than not be able to satisfy any demand.
The madness has to stop. And, as is so often the case, it is not just down to the economy and politics (even if you would always prefer to start directly there). We as consumers have power and should use it.
What can I do about food waste?
- A so-called #eatupchallenge can help to end the nonsensical grocery hoarding. Instead, you do not buy any new groceries for 14 days (only fresh fruit and vegetables can be bought) and try to use up the existing groceries as much as possible. You can then finally get an overview of your food again. You can find out more about this challenge at The OGNC.
- Always make a list of the foods you need and try to avoid impulse purchases.
- Go shopping more often instead of hoarding too much.
- Sometimes buy vegetables in the supermarket that no longer look perfect – because they are the first to be thrown away.
- Use opportunities like Sirplus or etepetete. There you can order groceries that have been saved.
- Become a food saver yourself. There are various organizations that you can join to save food.
Conclusion: what will I do myself?
I notice in our household that we have also been shopping according to the “more is more” principle and am currently in the process of converting it. I will soon do another #eatupchallenge – maybe with a few relaxations, because I also have to cook for a family. I’m currently testing the Sirplus rescue box and I’m very satisfied with it. It even gives me relief in my everyday life. Of course there is also food included that I would not otherwise have bought for packaging reasons, but at least they are still consumed before they end up in the bin.
And what things are you taking to heart? Or where do you see your weak points?