21 November 2013, 14:06

Norway wastes tons of edible food - survey

Norway wastes tons of edible food - survey

Waste from food in Norway has seen a decrease from a survey done in 2010 still, "the figures indicate a small increase in consumer awareness in the past few years when it comes to the disposal of food," Aftenposten reported researcher Ole Jorgen Hanssen as saying. The Ostfold Research Food Waste Prevention survey was revealed at the ForMat conference which showed new ways consumers deal with wasting food products. The survey sought to find out how much food Norwegians throw out on an annual basis.

Hanssen believes that Norway has a long way as the goal is to decrease food waste by 25 percent come 2015. At least 255,000 tons of consumable food is thrown out every year, equaling 250 million bananas and cucumbers.

Individually, Norwegians chuck 22.4 pounds of bread and 26.6 pounds of fruits and vegetables into the trash every year. These numbers also account for the food from large companies and huge households. Supermarket chain Tesco in Britain put a halt to its 2 for 1 offers in hopes of reducing the amount of food gone to waste. Norway's Rema is highly considering copying Tesco's model.

"In Denmark, we've ended the 3 for 2 offers. This has resulted in us being given a prize for being responsible," said Rema owner Ole Robert Reiten, "We're considering cutting the 3 for 2 offers in Norway as well. We see that this sometimes leads people to buy more than they can eat."

Big food distributors and giant food outlets like Coop, NorgesGruppen, and Ica are not thinking of following in the footsteps of Rema. Instead, they plan on taking a different path. Their goal is to collect fully edible food that people do not wish to purchase because they are near the expiry date. The survey from Ostfold's research found that five percent fewer people reported throwing away food only because it passed the expiration date if compared to the 2010 data.

Only half of participants realized they had become better aware of the problems connected to food wastage. "It's not hard to achieve the goal of wasting 25 percent less food if everyone used their senses to see and smell it before they throw it out", Hanssen said, "It's not exactly rocket science."

Voice of Russia, Theforeigner.no

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