The week that was (18 February 2016)

Food waste. It's a massive issue. According to the United Nations, if wasted food became its own country it would be the number three contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the entire world. With nearly 800 million people not getting enough to eat each day, this is a ridiculous case of "deprivation in a sea of plenty".

The French are at the head of the game when it comes to solutions. Last month they passed a bill making it illegal for supermarkets (with a retail space bigger than 400 square metres) to throw out food that is still fit for consumption. Instead they are now required to donate it to charity or send it to be turned into compost or animal feed (instead of the previous practice of dousing in bleach or water to render it inedible - a bizarre habit to ensure if they can't sell it then no-one will eat it). They are the first country to create a law like this (punishable by a $75k fine or two years in jail). 

But it doesn't stop there. They have laws for restaurants who throw out too much waste (in the form of food scraps), forcing them to recycle this waste. They've even written a law about le doggy bagtaking it from the crass to the classy and making it a requirement for all restaurants to offer it, rather than scrape the excess in the bin.  

The French are historically good at this waste caper. So good in fact, that the Brits used them as the gold standard when creating their rationing schemes during WWII. Think about the ways they have traditionally consumed the pig ... and then watch this brilliant stop motion animation illustrating my point (skip to 35 seconds if you're squeamish, but definitely take the time to watch it). 

The French have Arash Derambarsh to thank for his single mindedness in getting this done. We have people like Ronni Kahn. 

Tonight OzHarvest launches the CEO Cook Off (to be held on the 7th March). According to Bestie, as of yesterday, "they have rescued 15,000 tonnes of good quality surplus food from landfill and delivered the equivalent of more than 45 million quality nutritious meals to people in need." You can read more here. Hats off to all of you lovely people involved.