European Year Against Food Waste

Do you ever notice that there are no prepared sandwiches in the UK that are made with the bottom of the loaf. Where do all of those slices of bread end up? The answer is that they go to waste.

Most of the loaves have 10 slices and if two are just thrown away it means that 20% of the product will end up in the bin before even being commercialised.
We throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food from our homes every year in the UK.
Each person living in Europe throws away 179 kg of edible produce every year.

This means that a massive 1,3 billion tons of food is wasted just in the continent.
According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) one third of the total production of food in the world gets wasted. Along with the food, the energy and the materials used to produce it are wasted too.

Food waste is a hot topic, especially with the financial crisis causing people to consume less and become more aware of wastage.

Discarding food damages the environment. If we all stop wasting food that could have been eaten, the CO2 impact would be the equivalent of taking 1 in 5 cars off the road, but it also means frittering away money.

In the UK alone, wasting food costs the average family with children around £680 a year. This is why the European Commission has declared 2014 as the European Year Against Food Waste.

The goal that the European Union wants to achieve is to reduce the 50 % food waste in the community by 2025.

MEPs want to prevent misuse in the EU through measures such as encouraging small- and medium-scale farming and crop production that is geared to local market demand. They also call for rethinking expiry dates on packaged foods.

Jose Graziano da Silva, general director of FAO, told 64 agriculture ministers meeting in Berlin over the weekend that consumers in rich countries dispose 220 million metric tons of food waste every year, equal to the entire food output of sub-Saharan Africa.

In the UK the wasted food is a big problem because it is not possible to feed farm animals with the leftovers of the manufacturing process.

For example, some farmers are asking to change the law because all pressed apples used to make apple juice could be eaten by pigs.

There is a similar problem with supermarkets. For example, they cannot give stale bread to charity associations or poor people and somebody who tries to take food from the bin of a supermarket could be accused of stealing.
The EU decision is the right one but the single government have to do more: change the legislation and support the awareness campaign.

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