Giulia Variara Food waste

Three thoughts about food waste

You don’t have to be BIG in order to make a CHANGE around you.

Lately, I have been focusing a lot on the global issue of #foodwaste and I have been inspired by the work of Matt Homewood. We are facing a global crisis, many families are struggling to get basic needs, even in a prosperous country such as the Netherlands. Yet, between 33%-50% of all food produced on this planet goes to waste (visit Matt Homewood page

This weekend Jasper and I collected food for a local organisation in Amsterdam New West which is helping families in the neighbourhood by donating meals during Ramadan.

Besides taking some cereals and grains we had in our cupboard, we decided to ask supermarkets if they had food to donate to the cause. We asked for products that they were not selling anymore, food intended for the dump (gone off, damaged, not appealing) but still in perfect conditions for human consumption.

Two major supermarkets (among the most common in the NL) refused us, but a small, local vegetable market gave us at least three bags of veggies and they were very happy to support their community.

Food intended for the dump, perfectly fine for consumption

This makes me think of three things:

– saving food that otherwise would go to waste is a win-win situation and an act of SOCIAL JUSTICE. Us, the local shop, the organisation in Amsterdam… everybody was happy to help and to be part of this chain of solidarity. Also, saving food is not only good for people but also for the environment.

– we should really SHOP LOCAL and support small businesses. Small retails are the living hearth of the neighbourhood and they care much more about the community than big multinational supermarkets.

– we should DARE TO ASK. I must admit that I was feeling a bit conscious of asking for free food from supermarkets, even if it was not for me but for a good cause. My partner had the audacity to go for it and it was very inspiring seeing him talking to the managers of the supermarkets explaining what we were doing.

If you would like to know more about the problem of food waste, visit the page of Matt Homewood. He is trying to gain as much attention as possible on this issue in Europe. When we will be many joining this movement we will be able to change the law in favour of food saving.

Anyway, don’t wait and act now! You can do so much just by informing yourself on the topic and share with your family and friends.