Fighting food waste

in News · 03-01-2020 01:00:00 · 1 Comments

Millions of tonnes of food, that could be made use of, go to waste in Europe, a situation that restaurants and consumers can change, argued agents linked to the food sector.

Rui Sanches, vice-president of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants (AHRESP), told Lusa news agency that the catering sector is ready to spread the fight against waste, which “is huge”.
He said that waste results from health and safety standards laid down in law and supervised by the Food and Economic Safety Authority, which restaurants have had to adapt to.
“No restaurant company will say it doesn’t want to reduce waste because it has a super-positive economic impact”, he told Lusa.
For this “specific legislation will have to be created, with a competent authority to audit and fine, and then tax benefits to reward best practices and punish the worst”, he argued.
Rui Sanches said that restaurants and consumers in general do not become aware of the importance of avoiding waste because of the permanent “overabundance” of products. We go to the supermarket, buy what we want and end up not planning the meals we could have. There’s such an industrialisation of the food sector that restaurants and consumers end up not making much effort to save or have respect for the product”, he said.

Agriculture Ministry technician Nuno Manana, a member of the National Commission to Combat Food Waste, told Lusa, “as of 2020, all European Union member countries are bound by the Waste Directive to measure levels of food waste at each stage of the consumption chain”.
With “harmonised and comparable” data, it will be possible to “understand where to change”, with the certainty that “most studies point to the household sector” as the one that wastes the most.
Current figures point to 88 million tonnes of food waste per year in Europe and about one million in Portugal.
Portuguese chef Carlos Rodrigues, co-founder of one of the few “zero waste” restaurants in the world, argues that it is possible to apply the same principles to any kitchen, be it an elite restaurant or a school canteen.
Speaking to Lusa, Carlos Rodrigues said that everything in “Nolla”, which he runs in Helsinki, is done to “not normalise waste”.
In addition to thinking about the daily menu, the chefs at this fine dining restaurant believe that it would be more important to change the approach “in the canteens of schools or prisons”, where the impact would be greater than the 50 or so people Nolla serves every day.
“Whether in luxury restaurants, or in a school where a thousand meals are served, it is acceptable to throw things away. This is not acceptable,” he said.
“We don’t have rubbish bins. Each chef has a small container made of transparent glass. Everyone can see what they are throwing away and have time to think. In the kitchen we also have a computer where you have to say what and why and also, who throws it away”.



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Unharvested figs, olives and citrus abound in the interior central portugal, this could be a vital source

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