In addition to providing food, agriculture contributes significant amounts of greenhouse gases which contributes to global warming. This production is, however, necessary to sustain the population’s consumption, but not all the food that’s being produced is used. The EU has estimated that 20 per cent of all food produced is lost or wasted.
One solution has been “dumpster diving.” Environmental activist Solveig Johnsen, 23 and Linnea Lue Larsen, 24 both living in Oslo work on reducing their own food waste. After shops close the two girls look through the rubbish bins for food. They actively use Facebook groups to connect and share information on how to dumpster dive, saying it’s important to be prepared to dig through a mess to find what they’re looking for.
I’m very conscious of my own food waste. I’m the kind of person who cuts out the mouldy part of bread instead of tossing it, says Ms. Johnsen
She first tried dumpster diving after a friend of her recommended it, to save money and combat food waste and she’s not alone; a Google search on dumpster diving reveals over ten million hits.
There’s a lot of fruit and vegetables, most of it looks brand new – and its really hard to understand why the stores throw it out. It almost seems as they throw it out just to make room for new produce.
Linnea Lue Larsen first started dumpster diving in 2016, and since then she’s noticed the increasing popularity of it. After seeing videos online of people building furniture with dumpster material she was inspired to try it for herself. Since then she has become an avid “diver”.
It’s amazing and awful what you can find in dumpsters, I’ve found books, sneakers and of course food. I’m glad to give the items a new home, but it’s horrible that perfectly usable things have landed in the dumpster to begin with, she says.
Both Ms Larsen, and Ms Johnsen agree that consumers can get better at reducing their own waste. But stresses that the responsibility belongs to the corporation and food shops.
Our overproduction is killing the planet, and it’s time that shops that thrive of capitalism realise that they’re responsible to fix our food production, says Ms Johnsen.
The European Parliament is working on new measures to reduce food waste by 50% within 2050. Every year 88 million tonnes of food are thrown out in Europe, the equivalent of 173kg per person.