Redistributing food that would usually be thrown away — following the inspiration of France, where grocery stores have been mandated by law to donate unspoiled food to charities — is an idea that can no longer be ignored or shrugged off.
When we hear about 40 per cent of the food grown in the world being wasted, while at the same time people go hungry, we can only cringe at a system that may succeed in meeting economic targets, but utterly fails in meeting humanitarian needs.
It’s not a question of production, it’s a question of unequal distribution.
While it’s true that collectively we in North America and Europe are terrible culprits when it comes to tossing out and wasting huge portions of our food — both prepared, and before it ever gets to the kitchen — we also have a distribution problem within our own countries that we have so far failed to solve.
That we have such abundance, and yet throw away so much, goes beyond a mere lack of empathy to revealing a deep-seated flaw in our society.
A program to divert needless food waste is long overdue – one would put perfectly good food on the tables of people who need it — food that would otherwise go into the waste bin.
Some may be surprised to find out that a great deal of produce never gets to the grocery store shelves because it doesn’t fit in.
Rather than going to the landfill, it should be going to people who need a good square meal.
When you’re hungry, who cares what shape your squash or potatoes are?
And plenty of food items just past their best before dates are still perfectly edible. Rather than the trash, we’d prefer to see them as supper.
Let’s start filling plates rather than landfills.