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food waste

Encyclopedia entry - Nanine Roth - July 17, 2022 - 2 min reading time

Food waste is an outrage from an ethical, ecological and economic point of view. More than 800 million people are starving worldwide, and at the same time around 1.3 billion tonnes of food end up in the rubbish every year. In Germany, the per capita waste is 81.6 kilos of food waste per year, which is 11 million tonnes per year.

Causes of food waste

The appreciation and awareness of the real value of food is lacking in many parts of the world. The causes of food waste lie with consumers as much as with agriculture and the entire supply chain:

Why does the BBD cause food waste?

Consumers often regard the best-before date (BBD) as a fixed expiry date. However, just because day X is written as the best before date on the product, it does not go bad on that day and must be thrown in the rubbish. The best-before date is merely an indication that a food product that has not yet been opened should be guaranteed to retain typical properties such as taste, colour or nutritional values until that day. If you store food correctly, you can often enjoy it for longer. The best-before date is a guideline. Our senses give us more concrete information about whether the food is still edible.

How can food waste be reduced?

Specific planning, such as weekly plans or meal prepping, can reduce waste. Proper storage is also crucial to how long food can be kept. In addition, if you shop hungry, you buy more (than you can possibly eat).