A few simple actions, and 59% less food waste: 250 households have submitted to an experience that seems to show that in homes, the key to hunting gaspi lies in the awareness. In four regions of France, these families with various profiles participated for two months in a “control operation” on habits at home conducted by the Agency for the environment and energy management (Ademe).
Food wastage estimated at 29 kilos of waste per person per year
They were first asked to weigh their waste, with constant behavior. Then, a month later, to choose three gestures (such as setting menus in advance, looking at the storage dates before buying, preparing the right quantities, adapting to expiry dates, etc.) to evaluate the difference . Result, published Wednesday, October 16, 2019 for the National Day anti-waste: reduced losses of 59%, the equivalent of 11,300 meals saved in total over one year for these 250 households.
In France, food waste at home is estimated at 29 kilos of waste per person per year, including seven kilos of food still packaged. Home consumption, however, accounts for less than 20% of total food losses, estimated at 10 million tonnes per year (more than half of which are generated by producers and processors, and then by distributors and collective and commercial ADEME).
Without a monitoring mechanism, it is difficult to know the evolution of the situation. In 2013, the government set a target of reducing by 50% the waste on the entire food chain by 2025, before the passing of an anti-waste law in 2016. At home in any case, the experimentation “shows that it is possible to reduce waste a lot by simple gestures,” notes the Ademe.
Food waste © AFP – Maryam EL HAMOUCHI
Recipes to decorate his remains
For individuals, the hardest is “awareness”, who “not at all self-evident”Emily Spiesser, responsible for responsible consumption. “In France wasting is frowned upon, no one feels wasted, yet when you look closer, sometimes it can be in small quantities, but put end to end it can be important”. There are also these less visible losses: leftover soup, cereal milk, sauces …
Dorothée Cognez, employee of Rural Families, one of the three associations partners of the experiment, participated “out of curiosity”, convinced of “do not mess up”. “Big surprise! We were at 31 pounds per person, above the national average!” In the trash can or the sink the bottle of half-drunk milk left, “mostly liquids, and fish or meat still packed but out of date”.
This family from Seine-de-Marne focused their efforts on “The way to buy: we make shopping lists, and we count how many meals to expect in the week Before I bought too many things, we fell to 18 kilos of waste (per head), less 43%! “ Three months after the end of the operation, all homes continue to apply the chosen gestures, Ademe ensures. Among the best anchored: keep food safe (by knowing your stocks in the fridge and in the cupboards). The one judged easiest by the participants: do not throw away his remains. Suggestions can be found on the Zéro Gâchis Académie website. For example recipes to decorate his remains. Or simple calculations to prepare the right portions.
The Ademe also puts online Wednesday, October 16 a self-diagnosis tutorial. The challenge is not the least: unnecessary extraction of natural resources, avoidable greenhouse gas emissions (3% of the total in France), additional waste … Globally, 25% to 30% of the food produced is “Wasted or lost,” said the UN climate expert, Giec, who put the issue at the heart of his report on land use this summer.