Are we all chucking out too much food? Roughly one-third of all food produced in the world is wasted each year. That’s equivalent to over 550 billion euros worth of food thrown out in the developed world alone. Meanwhile, acute hunger affects over 100 million people worldwide (with almost 20 million people in Europe and Central Asia suffering from severe food insecurity). How is possible it that food poverty and food waste can co-exist at the same time?
What do our readers think? We had a comment sent in from Carlos pointing out that “France was the first country in the world to forbid food waste in supermarkets, by donating their near-expired products to charity.” Do you think other European countries should follow France’s example?
To get a response, we attended the 2019 Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA) in Brussels, an event dedicated to issues related to food, agriculture, and the environment. On the day, we spoke to Ertharin Cousin, former Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (2012-2017). What would she say to Carlos?
For another perspective, we also put the same comment to Mette Lykke, CEO of Too Good to Go, an app that helps tackle food waste by connecting users with unsold food from participating shops and restaurants. At the moment, her app relies on the voluntary involvement of food sellers. Did she support the idea of countries introducing legislation to force greater participation?
Should supermarkets be forced to donate unsold food? Should more countries follow France’s lead on this issue? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!