Introducing FoPo

Could a really simple idea bridge the current gap between food waste and food poverty? The team behind FoPo, a powder made from freeze dried surplus fruit, believe their product has the potential to feed 9 billion people and is trialling the concept in the Philippines at the moment. You can find out more here and in the video below.

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Let’s follow in the footsteps of France…

The Real Junk Food Project

Let’s pass a law that REALLY legislates. Sign for supermarkets to give all surplus food to charities.

Step 1 – Sign this petition to make some noise about food waste and show that you care. If you’re sceptical, note that I am too.. but now is the time to engage in online activism, as France has just passed legislation on this issue and put it out there on European public, political agenda. Collectively, our voice will be heard.

Step 2 – Understand that this is just step 1. No way should non-profits be undertaking absolutely enormous work in response to the mistakes of large corporations, and no way should food ‘waste’ be solely associated with receivers of charity. We need RADICAL change throughout the entire food chain and a shift in worldwide attitudes to what’s on our plate.

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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:

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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.

‘Le gourmet bag’

The French, while known for their gastronomy, are only just catching onto the idea of the doggy bag – or the ‘gourmet bag‘, as they’re calling it, no doubt in an attempt to disassociate themselves from us Brits and the Americans. The gourmet bag is actually a plastic container, with this sticker on it:

gourmetbag-logo

If the likes of the French can be convinced it’s perfectly acceptable to take home your leftover dinner without feeling embarrassed about it, could this be a small victory for the reduction of food waste in the restaurant industry? Read more here.

Starving landfills

An article published in the New York Times last week titled ‘Starve a landfill: Efficiency in the kitchen to reduce food waste’ was accompanied by the illustration below, which I loved.

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On sale at the greengrocer – incidentally at very affordable prices – are a host of kitchen scraps such as carrot tops, orange peel, broccoli stems and limp lettuce, that are usually binned. I’m not quite sure what you could do with the grape stems, but the illustration perfectly captures the growing trend of nose-to-tail (or root-to-stalk?!) cooking taking place in restaurants and homes alike. Describing some of the ways we’re embracing composting, ‘ugly’ produce and cooking more creatively and efficiently, whilst also moving away from processed foods, the article makes an interesting read.