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Too good to waste!

Daniela ter Borg

Daniela ter Borg

Generally Europeans think they can contribute to solving environmental problems. One of these problems is food waste. In the Netherlands 86 per cent of Dutch citizens think that they are personally responsible to reduce their food waste. Here is how!

Today we are living in a world where in countries like the Netherlands consumers spend a marginal amount of money a month on food. Supermarkets have everything that we need at every time of the day. Our lifestyle gets more hectic; we do not have time to think much about our food. This leads to people buying more prepared meals and family traditions and old recipes vanishing. The outcome in the Netherlands is that people loose their relation to food, how it is produced and how it is prepared. This leads to a higher amount of edible food that is thrown away.

There are generally losses along the production line of food that cannot be avoided, but most food is wasted at the consumer level despite being edible. In the Netherlands about 50% of food waste happens at the household level of which at least 50% could be avoided. On average every Dutch citizen wastes 50 kg edible food each year.

The current food trends lead to an overproduction of food in industrialised countries like the Netherlands. To account for this a big amount of land is used for agriculture in the country. However, this is not enough to produce all the food consumed. Therefore, millions of hectares of land in other countries are used to produce products for industrialised countries like the Netherlands. This development leads to food shortages in industrialising countries, since the space that would be needed to grow food for their own citizens is used for growing food for industrialised countries instead.

The increase of need for land for agricul