This huge loss of food is a huge damage to society as well as the economy, but in addition also for the environment: During the cultivation of food, soil, fertilizer, water and pesticides are used; During its transportation and delivery, fuel is spent whose emissions pollute the air; And the food that is wasted and goes to the landfill also emits toxic gases and greenhouse gases into the air, thus adding the sin of pollution to the crime of waste.
The situation in the world is not much better than the situation in Israel, and according to estimates, about a third of all food produced in the world is not consumed and is lost at various stages of the food production chain - from the field to the consumer. But there are countries that have decided it's time to take matters into their own hands and fight this horrendous waste. Various projects arose in them, some at the initiative of the state (such as the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, which initiated government programs to address the issue), and some at the initiative of private individuals and various organizations - who realized the importance and potential of saving food just before it is thrown into the trash.
The Danish cottage protest
The country that is at the forefront of the fight against food loss is Denmark, which was able to reduce Since 2010 by 25 percent the amount of wasted food. But instead of resting on their laurels, in Denmark they realized that this is a great way to both address poverty and reduce damage to the environment, and recently The Danish Minister for Environmental Protection announced Because an amount of about 5 million kroner (about 750 thousand dollars) will be allocated to various projects that will prove their ability to treat and further reduce food losses in the country.
Similar to the social protest that took place in the summer of 2011 in Israel, which began as the cottage and housing protest, the war on the loss of food in Denmark also began with a Facebook post by one woman - Selina Joule, who was outraged by what she saw as social injustice and unreasonable waste. Jule, who immigrated to Denmark from the Soviet Union as a child, established a Facebook page seven years ago called Stop Spilled Af Mad ("Stop wasting food"), because according to her, having grown up in a place where there was a severe food shortage, she was amazed to see the amount of food in Denmark that is not used and is simply thrown away, when in fact there is no problem with it and it could feed so many people. Her Facebook page took off and the organization was largely responsible for Denmark's success in reducing its food loss in the years since.
The success of the organization lies in the fact that it does not only raise the problem, but mainly focuses on offering solutions. Jules says that she started by offering little tips to consumers - like making a shopping list before going to the supermarket, or taking a picture of the open refrigerator with your phone to see what's missing, emptying the freezer once a month and cooking a meal from things you didn't remember that were in it, and making a "tapas meal" every Saturday From the leftovers that accumulated during the week in the fridge.
Since then, the issue has gained momentum in Denmark and many other initiatives on the issue have arisen, which deal not only with the consumer at the end of the food chain but also with its various stages - growing, transportation and supply. So, for example, all the supermarket chains in Denmark have a program to reduce food losses, as do many restaurants in the country, catering companies and hospitals. In Denmark it also opened last February The first supermarket Non-profit that sells food that has expired or whose packaging has been damaged, at a significant discount of about 30-50 percent. Now, with the financing plan proposed by the Danish Minister for Environmental Protection, one can assume that Denmark will be able to reduce its food loss percentage even more, and will try to prove to the rest of the world that there is no reason for so much food to be thrown away.
Selena Jewell's TED talk on food waste:
It is also possible in Israel
According to the estimates of the "Collect Israel" organization, About 50 percent of the food wasted in Israel can be salvaged. The organization itself takes care of rescuing food and distributing it to associations, which deliver it to those in need. A new initiative that tries to reduce the loss of food in Israel concerns the reduction of the loss of vegetables and fruits, which make up 75 percent of all lost food in Israel: the sale of "ugly" fruits and vegetables at a discount. These are those fruits and vegetables that do not have the accepted appearance among consumers, but apart from the fact that they are imperfect on an aesthetic level, they have no defects and are perfectly suitable for eating. A group of students from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya who researched the issue found that a high percentage of Israeli consumers as well as among farmers are interested in buying and selling the "ugly" produce at a discount, if given the opportunity.
Even at the political level, awareness of the issue is slowly increasing: in 2015 it came out State Comptroller's Report which dealt with the issue of food loss, with a series of different solutions and recommendations for the government ministries and other public bodies to start addressing the problem. In combination with the ever-increasing awareness of the issue among consumers, who can thus also save money, and through the implementation of policy measures and government subsidies of related projects, we too can be like Denmark and significantly reduce food loss - a step from which we will all benefit in every way.