How to reduce food waste

We throw away a third of the food we produce worldwide. But how can we limit this waste? Episode 10 of our series of stories on eco-citizen initiatives with French author Julien Vidal.

How can we limit food waste?

If food waste was a country, it would be the third CO2 emitter in the world behind China and the United States. Why? Because we throw away a third of the food we produce worldwide. Today, we’re going to take a look at how to fight food waste. Julien Vidal, author of the book “It Starts With Me,” explains it to us. First tip, before you go food shopping, take time out to prepare recipes so you only buy what you need. With organic vegetables, in most recipes, you can leave the skin on. There are loads of things you can do with peelings. A typical idea for potato peelings is to make chips. You can make pesto with carrot tops, and more surprisingly, you can keep a watermelon skin to make pickles.

Another key action is to understand the difference between UBD and BBD. You can see it here, it’s labelled “best before”. That’s a BBD. A Best Before Date, whereas a UBD is a Use By Date. So, here it’s labeled “best if used by”. That means that even past that date, it can still be eaten. Another tip for fighting food waste, is to go through your cupboards from time to time to check the expiration dates on your food. “Vegetables will go over there, and then the products we’re going to give tomorrow morning, chilled and in first necessity, go here in these fridges over there and we fill them up like that. With distribution at Food Banks, in general a Food Bank gives vegetables, but it can be 2-3 boxes of zucchini and not everyone can cook them. So, the difference at Le Chaînon Manquant is that the organization provide meals,” Jean-Pierre Ricci Solidarity Boutique - Abbé Pierre Foundation.

Food waste happens at home, but a great deal also happens in stores. Apps like Too Good to Go, Linkee or even Phenix help you salvage unsold goods destined for the trash. There are associations that act as a link between food waste and people who are most in need like here with Le Chaînon Manquant. On average there is 70 kilos in supermarkets. Le Chaînon Manquant fights against food waste, and also against food insecurity. Their aim is to give people a temporary home and help them become independent again. In France, 1 out of every 10 people is currently in a state of food insecurity. 10 million tons of food gets wasted every year.

Brut. Nature