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Not throwing away food would

Not throwing away food would reduce carbon emissions

Stating that all the food thrown away in North America and Europe could feed
all the hungry people in the world three times over, “Taste the Waste” is a
documentary written and directed by Valentin Thurn with cinematography by
Roland Breitschuh. In an hour and a half the documentary - released in 2010
- shines a light on the shocking amount of food that globally goes to waste
and some innovative ideas on how to make usage of this.

Following different perspectives from people all involved and affected by the
food industry – farmers, supermarket owners, a bakery owner, local banana
famers in Cameroon and power suppliers - we dive into the how and why
there’s such a large amount of food going to waste.

It starts at the bottom of the food production chain where retailers define the
standard for food. A German farmer tells how 40 till 50% of his crops go to
waste because they don’t meet the standard expected set by the retailer and
the consumers expectation. Being either to big, small or blemished, the
crops are left at the field. Tomatoes go through a color scheme to see if they
have the expected red color. Curved cucumbers never make it to the
supermarket, besides looking off, less of them fit in a box because of their
shape. Which means higher transportations costs.

Supermarkets on their hand have the strategy to keep the freshest and best-
looking food because that increases their sales. All the food nearing
expiration date or looking less good is thrown away.

Out of all the products that do end up in the consumers’ house, the average
household throws away 45kg of food a year that’s unopened or within the
expiration date.

Reducing food waste by half would prevent as much climate-affecting
gasses as taking every other car of the road. Also a study of sixty landfills in
America and Canada exposed if food waste was reduced by half, it would
cut 7,5% of methane gas that effects the Ozone.

Farmers already unite at farmers markets, selling their own products straight
to the consumer. A German bakery recycles his leftover bread in a way that it
can be used to heat the ovens in the bakery. A German biogas plant
produces gas out of food waste. Other people are taking initiative in teaching
kids how to prepare vegetables and teach them about food. So they are
aware and can spread their knowledge further and hopefully be the corner
stones of a new generation.

Summary by Gertjan

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