Looking around the internet I realized that information about how to reduce food waste was really scarce. The main solutions encountered by me were about what to do with food waste in order not to throw it into a landfill. There are many individuals that are devoting their energy towards making a change. Those are good initiatives that our population needs and that help the environment. However, doesn’t it create a new market for technologic companies (the solutions were mainly high-tech composting machines)? Doesn’t it ignore the fact that food waste exists in such great numbers? Isn’t it actually not caring about our environment and only making “a nice face to a bad game”? In this entry I will cover some general issues concerning the solutions I will propose later. I will also speak about the role of governments and what they can do.
First I wanted to present two problems that are strongly influencing the growth in food waste, which are not necessarily directly related to the gastronomy industry. One of them is the corporation interference into the whole food production process. I suppose that most people reading this blog already know what am I talking about, but I just wanted to point out an important issue for the topic. What is actually happening is that some farmers are spending money on pesticides and other chemicals to feed their animals or crops. These chemicals are not a matterof life for those organisms and it is only a way to increase profits. Meanwhile there are millions, if not billions people and animals starving, who at the sight of landfills full of food waste would probably get a heart attack.
The second problem is indirectly a consequence of the first one. Countries of the so-called “first world” are producing too much food (because of the chemicals that helps the growing process) plus are also importing food from abroad. Even though by wanting to protect their agriculture, subsidies are being given to the farmers. It means that poorer countries are not able to export their food and most of the food produced in the “first world” is too expensive for them, so they cannot import.
By the end of the day “rich” people are throwing food away, because they have nothing to do with it and their stomachs are satisfied. Think how many times have you done it yourself. But do you care? If subsidies would be taken away it would regulate the market so “the first world” would not generate so much food waste. It would be possible to feed a lot more people following a certain logistic process and decrease hunger problems. The question is if rich countries are able to let go? If yes, how much or how many they can let go?
Now I would like to move on towards gastronomy industry. As I said before, first I will speak about government’s role in this topic and what they can do. I mentioned in one of the previous posts about the existence of a certain Good Samaritan Act. It is a very good law. However, governments should put much more weight into such kind of initiatives. The politicians should know that it is an important issue for the country and its society and should make sure that all target recipients will know about the act. It can be done by targeting informative campaigns on restaurant owners or by engaging more NGO’s to create a general awareness in that sector. Governments can also try to develop some other laws. For instance there could be a decrease on taxes for those restaurants and establishments that produce less food waste. This is always a well working incentive for business sector, because it reacts directly on profits. There are also negative measures that can be undertaken. If restaurants do not donate food, they can get a fine. So actually food donation (for restaurants waste donation) will be obligatory. That could create a whole new system of food distribution for those who need it.
In my next entry that will appear next week I will continue developing solutions with a more detailed approach towards gastronomy industry. I will try to explain the food distribution system. I will also tell you, what do I think is the most important thing to reduce food waste. Those who were following my blog from the beginning may already know what is my belief in that topic.
posted by Piotr Wielezynski