In 2011, the FAO presented the first global estimate of food waste: ~1/3 of the edible parts of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted, corresponding to about 1.3 billion tonnes of food per year.
In France in 2016, all food loss and waste represented ~10 million tonnes or 150 kg per person per year.
Several laws have been put in place to counteract food waste, such as Garot’s law in 2016, the Egalim 1 law in 2018 and the anti-waste law of 2020.
Companies such as Too good to go or Phenix have anticipated these laws and are already to acting by inventing original solutions to fight against food waste.
Economist and Research Fellow at the MoISA* laboratory of INRAE
Sandrine Costa studies food waste to suggest measures that can impact on consumer behaviour.
By studying the leftovers on trays of 479 people who had eaten in different company restaurants, she observed that while 398 of them had left food, only half of them said they had.
Collective catering is a strategic lever in the fight against waste. It has been estimated in various European countries that between 13 and 55% of the food produced and distributed in collective catering ends up in the bin.
Making a shopping list, learning how to cook leftovers, reserving a specific place in the fridge for leftovers so that each member of the family can spot them, can all be effective in avoiding waste.
Sociologist and independent consultant specialising in waste reduction
research engineer at the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (INRAE)
The available food production of France and the United States amounts to more than 3,500 calories per day per person – for estimated needs of around 2,000 or at most 2,500 calories.
Contrary to popular belief, a large family, per person, wastes less than a couple without children, as they have more opportunities to offer cooked leftovers.
Tax deductions are most often calculated on the weight of food donated, which encourages a focus on quantity over quality.
Companies such as Too Good to Go are taking action, for example, by having 62 companies sign a pact to reduce food waste due to use-by dates.
Marina Julienne graduated in Literature (University of Paris IV) and Political Science (University of Paris I). Initially a journalist in editorial content (Zélig press agency, Infomatin daily newspaper, Eureka monthly), she has worked as a freelancer for Science et Vie, La Recherche, Sciences actualités (Cité desciences), Terre Sauvage, Le Monde Science and Médecine. She is also the author and director of several documentaries, particularly in the field of education, for France-Télévision and Arte.