“The growing demand for food is responsible for more than 80% of deforestation, 70% of fresh water consumption, is the largest single cause of biodiversity loss, and produces more than 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. A third of the food grown globally is currently wasted. This is enough to feed three billion people.”
The products’ aesthetic standards are the main cause of food waste. In fact, supermarkets are not interested in the edible quality of the product, but in the way it appears. The aesthetical specifications, which are part of the quality requisites within the contractual agreements on the food ‘s world system, are meant to fix which food can be sold according to the external appearance. Aesthetic standards systematically generate an overproduction of food and are used as a weapon to restrict the market access when demand is lower than offer. Notwithstanding that, shopkeepers do sell us low quality products when high quality ones are not available, by this demonstrating that consumers are not the sole responsible subjects for the waste of defective fruits or vegetables. After getting a little more aware of the topic, what have we got to do? Elin Aronsen Beis had an idea and together with Ove Lartelius in 2016 founded Foodloopz, a society whose mission is to help concerns diminish food waste.
Foodloopz is a digital platform where firms and organisations can sell, buy and donate their own surplus of foodstuffs, to avoid wasting food. In 2017 alone, in Sweden, it has succeeded in saving 70 tons of foodstuffs and beverages. To directly involve consumers too, Foodloopz has decided to open, once, a little pop-up, a campaign, in the centre of Stockholm, where consumers were asked to take a whole “food waste” shopper in exchange of donations to the Food2Change association. A good practice example to make us think about. But what we all can easily do, against domestic food waste, is to stop buying more than we need (just ignore the 3×2 campaigns!) and restart touching, smelling and tasting food instead of exclusively trusting the “best before” dates.
More power to goodness, less to beauty!