30% of all food produced globally is wasted; this catchy statistic began making the rounds though news media earlier this year.We can all do our best to buy only what we need and make the most of everything we buy but none of that will ever reduce the kind of waste food thrown away by supermarkets and other businesses that sell food everyday; most, if not all of it perfectly edible.
I've worked in cafes, delis, restaurants and factories where I witnessed the harrowing sight of black bags of fresh food chucked in the bin.
Working in a factory that processed meat was one of my first summer jobs and to be fair, they had a good policy for distributing its surplus among the staff. That factory is now gone and as I moved on to other things I saw noticed a sort of hysteria developing around liability and disposing of surplus food. By the time I was nearly finished secondary school it was a sacking offence to eat any food at the Centra I worked in part time, never mind the sacks of sandwiches, freshly-made ready meals, cooked meat they were chucking in the bin. This madness is still practised everywhere that fears liability, should someone be sick from eating perfectly okay food. I suspected this was a flimsy excuse for laziness and for putting the responsibility of food waste in someone else's lap.
Fortunately here in Dublin at least a Trinity based group Food Glorious Food have come up with an simple and effective solution: They liaise between businesses with surplus food and charities. The business can sign off liability to FGF who arrange for the food to be shared with people who need it. It's something I would really encourage more businesses in Dublin to get involved in and I hope we will see this model replicated elsewhere. As of today FGF won Social Entrepreneurs Ireland's Mini-Innovation award fund for their work. As food and energy prices rise and harvests continue to suffer from bad weather conditions, it is imperative that we eliminate senseless dumping of such a valuable and energy-intensive resource.
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Posted by ROBIN