Reducing food waste by sharing it – An interview with Eva Karanikola

The One With Eva Karanikova

Eva Karanikola speaks about the importance of reducing food waste and she gives us a few tips on how we can start saving food.#EuropeanHeroes

Posted by European Heroes on Friday, August 24, 2018

For some, fighting against climate change can seem like a very abstract challenge. However, reducing food waste offers a more hands-on way of doing something good for the planet.

Feel like you throw away food gone bad or food rests every day? According to the New York Times, we throw away globally 1.3 billion tons of food every year – that’s a third of all the food grown in the world. Some of it would still be edible, and a lot of the waste could be completely avoided by a smarter usage of food in households, companies and institutions.

“It’s not just about the food we waste, but also the resources we use for growing it. The electricity, the water, the plastic, using all of these harms the environment”, says Berlin-based Eva Karanikola.

The 24-year-old Greek is part of the Foodsharing organization. The movement is active in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and it involves many volunteers, who like Eva visit supermarkets and stores close to their homes to help redistribute food that has passed its “best before” usage date.

We have also put together her tips for avoiding food waste:

  1. Calculate well

Don’t buy more than you are going to eat. If you have more items than you can eat, share it. If you are e.g. going on a trip, give surplus food away to friends or neighbours.

  1. Conserve

Learn how to make jams and sauces out of items that are still eatable. Keep items in the fridge or freezer to lengthen their usage time.

  1. Adapt a mentality of food saving

When shopping, eating out or from a buffet – try to think how much you are really going to eat, and stay within those limits.

  1. Join a food-sharing circle or movement in your town

If you are interested to do more, find out about an organisation or group of people who are in touch with stores and restaurants and help them redistribute surplus food. Volunteer and tell friends & family about opportunities they can join, like ‘food-waste dinners’.

  1. Create your own movement against food waste

Your university, school or workplace is not yet aware of food saving? Start an awareness-raising campaign, print brochures and talk to local chefs. Organise food waste cooking evenings or get in touch with local stores to start an initiative of your own.

  1. Find places to deliver surplus food to

Sadly, even though we produce so much food waste, many people suffer from hunger and a lack of an adequate, healthy diet. Find out about social centres, elderly homes, homeless shelters and similar places and offer to deliver surplus food regularly.

Want to find out more about food sharing? Check out these links for more inspiration:

Foodsharing-Ratgeber (in German)

How to reduce food waste

10 ways to reduce food waste

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