How much does food waste cost every year not only in Italy but also on a global scale? How many tons of garbage are food? The figures are shocking. According to the FAO, 9 million tons of food are wasted in one year in Italy only, which costs more than 12 billion euros, and 1.3 billion tons of food go in the trash globally. Such an amount could easily feed 2 billion people. The question to ask ourselves is: are we going into the right direction to fix it? Are we implementing any effective policy to fight the waste problem?
Starting from events to raise public awareness up until digital apps, here are four examples of how food waste can be fought in an unusual way.
Feeding the 5000
Feedback Global is a non-profit organization whose main aim is to reduce food waste. They have undertook several actions in this direction, including collaboration with governments and campaigns to raise awareness of the problem within the wide public. Their most successful campaign so far is Feeding the 5000, which took place for the first time in 2009 in Trafalgar Square and subsequently took over the rest of the world. The concept is simple: it is a gathering where 5000 people are invited and served a meal with food which would have gone to be wasted otherwise.
Sharing the fridge against waste
In order to help the ones in need, fridges to share have been installed in the streets in towns where differences between the wealthy and the poor are striking, so that everyone can leave or take some food. In this case, action against food waste and social care have merged. This initiative, which started in London, got to Dubai, where 20 different fridges to share are used by more than 5000 people. In addition to that, in the Netherlands and in India several organizations are making it possible for people in need to take the extra food which has been left in those fridges to share.
Smart technology meets the fight against waste
From fridges to share to Smart fridges – since technology can do great things in helping winning the fight against food waste. Big companies such as Samsung and Bosh had the idea of installing some cameras inside their fridges, so customers can check on the amount of food they have in their fridges and when they are due the expire while they are doing their shopping, so they can avoid buying more food than they actually need. Moreover, it’s useful to remember that the best temperature to store food goes from 2 to 5°C – even if the smart fridge automatically sets their own temperature.
When a battle can be won thanks to Smartphones
Recycling is also digital.When it comes to fighting food waste, there is no shortage of apps. Olio is a free app which allows customers to connect with other people or food shops in their area to share their extra food, . It now has more than 50.000 subscribers which helped saving more than 100.000 items. Olio led the way into developing other similar apps such as Last Minute Sotto Casa, which works as a digital intermediary between shops having extra stock and customers willing to buy it for a cheaper price than the market’s one.
Food waste represents a problem for many people. However, there are solutions that can be implemented to solve it and every little action helps when it comes to fighting it.