Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Forget the climate change, mind what is on your plate...

As dumpster diving becomes a popular sport and bin cooking is a perfect adept for the next bestseller, climate change might be of a secondary interest to some environmentalists.

„Tell me what is in your bin and I tell you who you are!“ comes to mind when the issue of food waste is discussed.

Storing pig feed in household bins Europe-wide has become a standard, with 89 million tons of food being tossed away on the continent each year. A Western trend where wastefulness is an accepted paradigm. 

Discarded fish alone amounts to as much as 30 million tones/year 
(UNEP, 2012)

Why not? What is not forbidden, is allowed. More so, if wasting is free of charge.

World leaders‘ myopic „growth“ rhetoric surpasses the logic of our system: worldwide, we produce enough to feed 12 billion, only to dump half of it. Is this a remedy for depression? Another planned obsolescence? Or can we just not do the numbers? 

In a world of 7 billion where one billion people starve and another 1.4 billion are overweight, we blame underproduction for world hunger, creating a justification for Monsanto’s crimes: more pesticides, more food. More GMO, more food security...

One sided political interests, citizens’ blindness and fading ethical values prevent a five-in-one solution. Cutting your food waste will:

-stimulate resource conservation
-eradicate world hunger
-shrink landfills (fewer plastic carrier bags, packaging of processed food. "In the USA, organic waste is the second highest component of landfills" - UNEP, 2012)
-reduce global warming (by cutting transport and storage of food that never makes it to our plates, as well as cutting methane emissions from food waste) 
-ensure food security 

With activists like Tristram Stuart at the front and the UNEP on their side, can this trend be reverted? Can uncovering the food waste scandal change our wasteful habits? 

Hope rises but the task is much too big. Each and every one of us must lift the lid of our garbage bins, dig into our consciences, and put into action what our grandmothers told us long ago „food is not to be wasted, there are far too many going hungry in this world“.

...or is there just too much on our plates?

It all starts with our thinking, it is all about our attitude. Can we be inspired by nature where everything is a source rather than waste?

You have the power to change because nothing is waste until you throw it. It is up to you to re-thing food waste! 


  1. Great post - I tweeted it this morning!

  2. Hana!!..very interesting post...It's a shame we still have to deal with this issue...the point is that in my opinion It's mandatory to set rules and laws in this industry...every business dealing with food (restaurants, manufacturing...) should to show data about the waste and its management. We have to deal with food as it is gold...and indeed, it is.
    Take a look on this video...


    Joan Albert.


  3. Joan Albert, absolutely, there is no justification for food waste, and any waste as a matter of fact. While we have rights on this planet, we also do have responsibilities. Lets not forget that food waste is only one of so many problems of an imperfect system we created. While we fight for each and every cause we need a more systemic approach.