A nice story about food waste prevention in Denmark
We throw less food !
Now it has been Anja Ravn’s New Year’s resolution for two consecutive years. Throwing less food in the garbage. It was not something they talked about at home when she was growing up. But in recent years she has been made more aware of the campaigns for food waste. “I think most do not buy too much food. Meat for example. But I know that I often get to buy many different kinds. So it may well be , I only buy a little of everything , but it pours up. It is enough that I blunder into me” she says as she moors avocado for guacamole – it must be one of the accessories for barbecue dinner, which Anja Ravn and her husband Francis Raven is in the process of getting ready , while their children Esther 7 and Louis at 10 playing in the garden – family currently living in their allotment in Skovlunde, where they will soon have guests.
“Is that the only thing you bought?” Asks Francis Anja and points to paralyze the chops on the kitchen table. “No, I also bought loin , which I thought we could make chops and then turkey.” They also have lots of sausages, notes Francis and comes turkey breast in the freezer. “It ends tomorrow – so I might as well get it in the freezer now, so it will not be bad if we do not get it eaten.”
Most people are like Anja and Frans Ravn become more aware of food waste, 47 % think more about how much food they buy compared to five years ago, while 4 % thinking less about it. Also estimates 37 %. They throw away less food than five years ago – while 14 % even believe that they throw more food out. In addition, most Danes have been better for both to save leftovers for later use, and cook for several days at a time. And almost all Danes agree that it is important to avoid food waste .
The trend comes as no surprise to Klaus Jørgensen, Department Head at the trade association for farmers and food companies , Agriculture and Food, which has helped to focus on food waste. “The economic crisis has contributed to the Danes have become more resource -conscious – it has given food waste tailwind on the bikepath, if one can put it this way. But it is also due to the very strong debate and communication that has been in recent years. In 2005 I do not think the word ‘ food waste ‘ featured in many newspaper articles.”
But the increasing awareness does not change the fact that Denmark has a food waste at 540,000 tons per year, which cost the Danes annual 16 billion, according to Agriculture and Food Council newest numbers. A typical Dane living in single family , throw away approximately 42 kg of fresh food every year, according to a study by the Environmental Protection Agency from 2012. This is equivalent to 105 kg edible food annually for an average household consisting of two adults and two children . Typically, fruit, vegetables, bread and cakes that smoking in the trash – food that we bought, but have not managed to cook or eat before the example becomes outdated.
At world level, one third of all the food that is being produced for people thrown out – while starving 870 million people every day. All the wasted food emit 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases that create climate changes that increase the risk of conflict , famine , floods and refugee crises in the century we live in now – it concluded UN climate report recently . In addition, the world population in 2050 will have grown to over nine billion – to the seven billion who inhabit the planet today.
“It ‘s a pretty steep rise , and the earth is not increased. There will be no more land to grow grains, fruits and vegetables, so it requires that food production has become more efficient, and we throw less in the bin if we are to provide enough food for everyone” says Klaus Jorgensen. Just to throw food in the trash, we are good at in the Western world, though the Danes seem to have been better to avoid food waste. “Here in the West, food waste is clearly highest among U.S. consumers. We are the biggest culprits. We throw much out, whereas food waste out of the households in the African countries is very, very small. In turn, we in the West better at producing goods without an equally large spills as in hot countries where it is more difficult and more expensive for example to cool the food down” says Klaus Jorgensen. He strongly believes that planning and meal planning can help to reduce food waste by consumers – but they must also be helped by the supermarkets limit the number of volume discounts , selling smaller packages of meat and eggs and focuses more on fruits and vegetables by weight.
The allotment house in Skovlunde they also seem that it would be a great help if the supermarkets could just buy a single package salad and have it on offer – instead of having to buy three packs. “And as more knowledge on how to use leftovers . So we’re good at it, but it’s a little boring , right? “Says Anja. “I also think we talk to our kids about it and explain to them why we eat leftovers. That it is to save on food”says Francis.” So Francis is from Jutland, so for him it is a lot about economics ” Anja smile mischievous, looking at Francis, who says that his awareness of food waste comes from his childhood home. His grandfather grew up during World War I, and as an old man he often cooked eggs, after he lost his wife – and instead of throwing boiling water from eggs being cooked out, he used it to make coffee. “It’s recycling to the extreme . It would never do today” said Francis. They have agreed that they usually do not marinate salads, so the remains can more easily be saved for the next day. And because children are not fond of cooked vegetables, they serve them fresh instead – so they are not lost in the trash. And if they’ve got meat, and there is something left over, cut Frans it into thin slices like roast beef that can be part of the children’s lunch boxes – if it has already been on the plates , it can turn into ‘Cats candy ‘ for the cats Buller and Trundle rather than drop out. Also, the end caps from the bread come in a bag in the freezer until there is enough for a game of peanuts. “And all the food we cut from here, go in our compost, so although it is little waste, smoke it in a way into the cycle again” said Francis, as he gathers carrot peels up from the sink . He goes out into the garden and pour the remains into the compost .
“That ‘s how I was taught. I am the youngest of four, my father was a high school teacher, and my mother was a housewife. So it was hard to get the economy to drive around with one income, and that was repaired, sewn and stuffed, recycled and all. My parents grew up during World War II and are used to, that things need to be stretched. In a global perspective, it also made perfect sense, but it was not starting then”.
For Anja awareness of food waste is not as far back. But it has become stronger over the years. “For the environment it costs nothing to produce the food. It has many expenses, and I think that one should think about. It’s stupid to just throw food out, which can be used. I also am not at all holy and throw something out . But I try not to, “she says.
It makes perfect sense that the awareness of food waste, as Anja and Frans Ravn, has become more prevalent in recent years, says sociologist Bernice Linddal. For it is linked to the food culture has changed. In the old farming community of households had a great, you worked very physical, and that should be enough to make everyone satisfied. “But this paradigm is long gone . Most people have a growing awareness that the food should be good, but you do not have the same need too much food at that time, it was frowned upon and shameful if there was not enough food.
There are still old people who have an idea that they will eat up a paunch to the restaurant, but the typical dinner table, it’s fine if everyone gets one time, “says Birthe Linddal , who points out that many restaurants and conference venues also have stopped having buffets precisely to avoid waste. The trend has been exacerbated by the financial crisis, but it is also linked to that it was hip to be environmentally conscious. “There is no doubt that the financial crisis has helped to boost it, but there was also a focus on this before the crisis. There’s something cool about it with recycling” she said. “At the same time , we have now a food culture where increasing numbers of people do not make lunches, and where they buy more takeaway. You do not have the same degree as before a refrigerator that must be constantly filled. It no longer makes sense to buy five meters sausages, food has become more “here and now” rather than part of a monthly planning. Because if you then get invited out to dinner, you end up throwing food out’
In the future, she thinks that we will be even more aware of our food waste and throw away less food in the garbage – but it also becomes more important that the restaurants are good to avoid waste, as the number of buy takeaway food. “There are still many of them who were born just after the war and before, are representatives of that to make much food and half pigs in the freezer. But there are fewer of them and more people are thinking of meal solutions here and now. What may be a danger in that more people are buying food from cafes and takeaway places, is that part of the food waste moving there. Then it becomes the industry’s responsibility to ensure that there will be less waste, and that waste is used as pig feed or fuel.”
In Skovlunde guests arrived – and the company is sitting around the dinner table. ‘Oh, we’ve made too much salad. We had forgotten that there are two guests who have salad, but it’s fine, it ‘s going to be eaten. There should not be too little,” says Anja. “It’s very rare that we take things directly from the table and throw out. But the remains may well face a little too long in a jar in the fridge while we think that it should be eaten – and then we still have to throw it out. Sometimes we make the just too much food, and so perhaps especially when we have guests, because you want people who have enough food. One is almost afraid that there should be little, but it ‘s never.’ Francis nods “I will also say that on a day like today when you have guests, you can potentially smoke some food out, because if it has been on the table for a long time, one must of course consider whether it can still be saved. I think it is in everyday life, the tough, long haul must be taken. And one thing is food waste, another is gluttony. It’s fine to do when you have a party, it’s there and there must be room in our society, but I also know examples of people who generally glutton with food. People who take up a great steak. But if we look at our children’s plates when they have eaten steaks, we should well enough to consider whether they just should have had a half. And once the food has been achieved on the plate, so there are only two roads: Mouth or household waste . Therefore, we also try to tell our children that one would rather scoop up more times than much at once.”
The largest food waste , they have in the family, the children’s lunch boxes, think Anja. For once the food has been a full day in a school bag , it is difficult to store. But if you disregard it, she thinks that they throw out less food today than they did before the kids started school. “I think also that I have been better to buy the food that soon expire if I need it right now – before when I always wanted the freshest. But I hope I will be better to use the leftovers for other than stew and pie. I know there is provided a residual cookbook, so it may be that I should invest in one,”says Anja, who believes that her next New Year’s resolution again be wasting less food. “But sometimes with all the principles that we have … It’s not fucking all of them are easy to put into practice . Even if you try , “she says.
It is also the case in the evening , it turns out already when the children were the first to get finished eating. Anja and Francis’ daughter Esther seven have not eaten all its fresh asparagus, while Villum at five and a half travelling with his plate, go to the kitchen and leave for half sausage roll down into the trash .