The war on food waste: France 1, UK 0

First there were the ‘inglorious fruits’. Then there was the ‘gourmet bag’. And now, in an attempt to halve their food waste by 2025, the French have introduced new legislation that prevents supermarkets from throwing out or deliberately spoiling surplus food. Instead they must either give it to charities or to farmers for animal feed.

Good news for food waste in France, but on this side of the Channel it seems we have a lot of work to do, as the graph below (from this article) of the EU’s top ten producers of food waste shows:

Capture

More countries adopting France’s legislation would obviously be a welcome leap forward in the reduction of food waste, and would benefit charities that address food poverty. But as most research shows, the majority of food that gets binned is at a household, not industrial level, so if the UK and other EU countries are really going to make an impact, organisations like Love Food Hate Waste continuing to educate the public will be key.

An alternative Halloween part 2

With pumpkins and Halloween on my brain after my recent posts, the flyer below in a shop window in Reigate, Surrey caught my eye yesterday.

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Luckily I bothered to read the whole thing, because the part at the bottom says:

Collect your ‘trick or treat bag’ from Cullenders in Bell St or Cook in the High St in exchange for a donation of a non-perishable food item to benefit Loveworks food bank

Woohoo! I’m sure most families participating in the event would have actually donated more than one item, and it’s great that the idea of giving Halloween a slightly different twist might catch on.

An alternative Halloween

I wanted to share this excellent article, written by the Trussell Trust, that urges people to consider Halloween from the perspective of those experiencing food poverty:

Everyone who receives an emergency food box from the Trussell Trust has been referred by a frontline care professional; these are people in genuine crisis, and the true extent of their suffering is often concealed. For these families, a Halloween celebration is out of the question.

It’s a sobering thought that while many of us will be – ahem – deliberately hiding at home with the lights off, pretending we’re not in so we don’t have to hand out sweets to neighbourhood kids, there are some families who would really like to be out trick or treating tonight, but simply can’t afford to.