Monday, November 28, 2016

Preventing food waste

A Danish supermarket chain has this week announced the opening of a second shop, dedicated entirely to food that has approached or passed its official 'sell buy' date, and on sale at approximately half the normal cost.

This follows the French action taken twelve months ago to ban supermarkets from destroying or discarding food - sometimes contaminating it with bleach - and to enter into formal contracts with charity food-banks for its collection and re-distribution. An estimated 100,000 tons of food reach charitable institutions this way annually. Charities argue that more could still be done as the more food that is collected the greater the need for volunteers to help in its collection and distribution, as well as additional transport, storage space and refrigeration.

This past weekend French shoppers were asked to donate food as part of their weekly shopping and shortly after 9.00am my local supermarket seemed to be doing quite well, with half a dozen volunteers handing out clear plastic bags which shoppers filled separately and passed to the checkout operator, before handing them over to the volunteer collecors.

Pioneers of these various initiatives are now campaigning for the French law to be extended to the rest of Europe to help reduce food wastage and help feed the hungry poor.