Food waste awareness - Guilty of housing that ugly peach

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Here's an eye-catching way of raising awareness about food waste. The Instituto Akatu, a Brazilian organization aimed at making consumers more conscious about their choices, participated a few months ago in a campaign about food waste. It came up with a brochure that imitated the style of those used by supermarkets to advertise their weekly offers, but shows the food all rotten (in their estimation, 1/3 of all food purchased goes bad before being eaten --I guess this figure applies to Brazil). A group of actors posing as supermarket employees handed these out outside the supermarket, raising a good number of eyebrows, I bet.

The brochure resonates with me not because it discovered any hidden fact --although 1/3 sounds like a *really high* proportion--, but because it reminds me of what I know is the case in my household and I'm not proud to admit: I'd swear that papaya was sitting in my fridge last night. And I think I've met that avocado before.

What's strange to me is that I was raised in a home where pretty much nothing was ever wasted, so I'm already sensitive to this. Yet I buy more than needed because when I get to the market I see a price that's good, or I realize, surrounded there by the produce bounty, that I really should eat more fruits and vegetables, so I make purchases that are additions to my biweekly meals menu (I'm disciplined enough to get that done) but then don't find a way to fit them in.

I wonder how much of this is to be "blamed" on development: not because citizens of a developed country have, on average, more money to spend on food, but also because the rhythm of life pushes you to make fewer trips to the grocery store (certainly not daily, like in Spain when I was growing up), therefore having to eyeball your household's food consumption with more or less precision and likely erring on the side of buying too much. But the solution can't be in shopping for food more often, can it? How much more gas would we then be using to drive to the store? There's a catch-22 for you.


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