Blog of Sara Jakša

How Much Food We Are Throwing Away?

Sometimes, one piece of information can expose a problem, that we were blind to it before. At least in my case, it happened like that.

I never liked throwing my food away. I remember in my first grade, when I couldn’t understand, why everybody would be throwing the insides of the apples away. I used to do that, but seeing dozens of half eaten apples in the trash bin, I decided, that I would be different.

I remember to start investigating the food, as a newcomer in the primary school. I was determined to figure out, what could I eat, and what would either kill me or make me sick. If it wouldn’t kill me or make me extremely sick, than I would try to eat that.

I am not saying, that I was not a picky person, I was. But I simply never even started eating the food, if I knew I will not be able to finish it. So somebody else, that might like that food could eat it.

That was one habit that stayed with me. Even these days, I am unable to throw food away. The only exception being, if there are animals inside, but even then I am thinking about it. I had eaten vegetables and fruits, that had started going bad, because I forgot before. I started making new recipes, just so I could eat the remainder of the food, I didn’t know, how to use otherwise.

So the problem of food waste didn’t really register in my mind. I didn’t see the problem, so I was not thinking about it.

But then I saw the short documentary on television by accident, and read the article in the political magazine, because I was bored.

The documentary went to the better of parts of our capital (we do not have big differences, but there are some). They looked over the trash. There were pieces of chicken, still packed like they were in the supermarket, the fruits and vegetables, that most people would find satisfactory, the remainders of cookies, or more like the half empty package.

The article on the other hand took a different turn. They started with how much food the supermarkets throw away. The story in the introduction was, that the worker in the supermarket was throwing kilograms of bread away, since it was the the end of the day.

They introduce the two point of view on the problem. The consumers and the industry.

The consumers wants more and better all the time. The industry is accommodating it his wish, as they want to increase sales.

The more we, as consumers, are going to be demanding, and the more we show, with our collective actions, that we want more and do not look at the long term consequences, the more the industry is going to accommodate us. It is one of the free market applications.

So in the end, the question is not ‘How much food are we throwing away?’. It is ‘How much food do we care to throw away?’.