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Eat without waste

mangiare senza sprechi

Have you ever thought that a banal gesture like throwing away a surplus lying in the fridge for too long, if translated over a whole year and for the entire world population, can take on epic proportions?

One of the most felt debates within the European Union is precisely that of food waste. According to a study conducted by FAO in 2011, 33% of the food produced worldwide, corresponding to about 1.3 billion tons of weight, ends up directly in the garbage because it is not consumed. But this waste occurs throughout the food supply chain. Approximately 900 million tons are wasted in production, distribution, and retail, while the remaining 400 million are consumed. The disturbing thing is that this mountain of food, labeled as waste, is nevertheless still edible. A shame if you think that, according to the FAO, food wasted in Europe could feed over 200 million people.

The industrialized and developing countries dissipate about the same amount of food, respectively 670 and 630 million tons. However, it is the waste per capita that makes the difference: consumers in Europe and North America throw in the garbage from 95 to 115 kilos of food, while those in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia only throw 6-11 kg per year. However, the problems linked to the production and distribution chain, caused mainly by poor infrastructure and the absence of investments, are the cause of waste in the poorest areas of the world.

Consider that 79 million European citizens live below the poverty line and 16 million depend on food aid, we believe that efforts by the European Parliament should, therefore, be focused on measures to raise awareness among the population and companies in the sector in reducing drastically waste without having to fall back on artificially modified raw materials.

When the price of food decreases, waste increases

Unfortunately, the raw materials with which most foods are produced on the market, are regularly discovered to be toxic to the body and all this is justified only by greater productivity in terms of volumes. Today, in fact, food waste in the world is 50% higher than in the ’70s and the main cause is to be found in the price of food which, in proportion to average salaries, has decreased a lot.

In 1930, for example, in the United States, on average, about 25% of income was spent on food. The percentage was reduced to 17% already in the 60s. In 2013, the incidence of food on the average income of the population has instead reached the following figures: Germany 11.4%, France 13.6%, Italy 14.4%, South Africa 20.1%, Mexico 24.1 %, Turkey 24.5% and finally Kenya 45.9%.

Unfortunately, the “faster, bigger, cheaper” approach to food is a principle that many countries have had to confront. The unsustainability of this perspective has therefore contributed to the increase of waste and to the destruction of our ecosystem with disastrous effects on our health.

Food as medicine

Michael Pollan, author of the book “The Omnivorous Dilemma”, has always supported: “cheap food is an illusion, there is no cheap food. The true cost of food will still pay for it somewhere. If it is not paid at the cash desk, it is paid by the environment or in the form of grants. One thing is certain, it is always charged to your health “.

The statistics on this are very worrying. In the early 1900s, only 1 in 20 people developed cancer. In 1940, the ratio dropped to 1 in 16. In 1970 it fell to 1 in 10; while today it is 1: 3.

Before the foods were modified to make them more productive, there were people who starved to death. Today, however, with the production quadrupled, we have increasingly cheaper food that has transformed consumption and perception of quality. The repercussions of these attitudes are found in the increase in mortality cases due to causes linked to overeating and obesity. Paradoxically, those who did not have the resources to afford food continue to not have access to it, and so do mortality rates due to lack of food.

If you have arrived at this article, it means that you are returning to the ever-larger segment of the population that is sensitive to the subject of food and in constant search for information. As you probably already know, for the foods you buy to be qualitatively and nutritionally valid there is a price to pay.

If you really want to eliminate waste and act in person, try rather reduce consumption by maintaining a less caloric diet that brings benefits to the body and mind. Our advice to you is simple: do not feed the perverse mechanism of low-cost industrial food but invest in healthy food, the first and most important medicine in the world.

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