Stories of food wastage are everywhere. A simple example would be how many of us even finish what we take in our plates? The bottom line is, a ton of food is wasted every day all over the world and India is a no different story.
On one side we have hunger… poverty… malnourishment.. while on the other, there is the sad reality of food wastage! According to a 2013 Global Hunger Index, India ranks 63rd out of 78 hungriest countries and also wastes 40% of its total food produce!
But today, we have a success story of a young and vibrant woman named Selina Juul. She changed the food waste story of Denmark and within 5 years the Danish land has reduced its edible wastage by 25%.
Selina recounts that after shifting to Denmark from Russia she was “shocked” to see the amount of food that was wasted. She says,
“I started to see this food waste culture and I got very angry, I got angry for many, many, many years.”
So, in 2008, Selina decided to change things and formed a Facebook group called, “Stop Wasting Food.” She was actively covered by national media because of her immense dedication to the issue.
‘Rema 1000’, a supermarket chain in Denmark with over 300 outlets, contacted Selina and became a part of her initiative to tackle food wastage. What they did was,
1. Instead of giving bulk discounts, Rema 1000 started offering discounts on a single banana for instance. They put a sign saying, “take me I’m single”, and it reduced the waste on bananas by a staggering 90 percent!
2. They started to sell smaller packets of bread so people don’t end up wasting the remaining bread slices.
Selina Juul and Rema 1000 are working together to change consumer patterns. Selina Juul is a household name associated with ideas to tackle food waste. Other ideas implemented by her are,
1. The idea of ‘doggy bags’, where you are persuaded to take the leftovers from your meal in a restaurant back home, so you wouldn’t have to buy food for the next day.
2. They have published a left-over cookbook, innovative, right?
3. Collaboration with 3 govt’s and also collaboration with EU to fight food wastage.
Selina Juul describes herself as “the mother of the fight against food waste.” She is the founder of ‘Stop Wasting Food, Denmark’ (Stop Spild Af Mad). It is Denmark’s largest non-profit consumer movement against food waste.
She is a graphic designer by profession but devotes all her time to combat food wastage.
Selina, along with the supermarket chains and the Danish Govt. has achieved a laudable victory. She says,
Selina has achieved a lot and in our country where millions are sleeping empty stomach, we sure can adopt some of these ideas and spread awareness regarding food wastage. Food is too valuable to be put into the trash!