A few actions are enough to put 59% less food in the trash

250 households have been subjected to an experiment which seems to show that in the homes, the key to the waste hunt lies in the awareness

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).

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, released Wednesday 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.

AFP / Maryam EL HAMOUCHIFood waste

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 adoption of an anti-waste law in 2016.

At home in any case, the experiment “shows that it is possible to reduce much wastage through simple gestures,” notes the Ademe.

– “Surprise!” –

For individuals, the hard part is “awareness”, which “is not at all self-evident,” says 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 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 partner associations of the experiment, participated “out of curiosity”, convinced of “not spoil”.

“Big surprise! We were at 31 pounds per person, above the national average!” In the trash can or sink were the bottle of half-drunk milk, “mostly liquids, and fish or meat still packed but out of date”.

This family from Seine-de-Marne has focused their efforts on “how to buy: we make shopping lists, and we count how many meals to expect in the week.” Before I bought too many things. 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 website https://zero-gachis-academie.fr/

For example recipes to decorate his remains. Or simple calculations to prepare the right portions.

The Ademe is also online Wednesday 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,” the UN climate expert Giec pointed out this summer, which placed the issue at the heart of his land use report.

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