France outlaws food waste in supermarkets



From left, a club wrap with french fries, churros and a Cali Alfredo pizza are among new menu items at Chuck E Cheese on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 in Irving, Texas. (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News/TNS)

Eshika Kohli, Leaflet Designer

The country France has officially been the very first to announce the ban of the destruction or throwing away of unsold food in supermarkets, leaving all of the supermarkets having to donate food to charities and food banks.

All supermarkets with the size over 4,304 square feet are required to have a contract with a local charity or food bank.

Head of a network of French food banks Jacques Bailet said, “In terms of nutritional balance, we currently have a deficit of meat and a lack of fruit and vegetables. This will hopefully allow us to push for those products.”

Before, many French supermarkets would trash edible foods before they even reached the best-by or sell-by dates. These dates do not refer to the date when the actual food will spoil, but to the foods’ peak quality date.

Socialist MP Guillaume Garot said, “When a supermarket like Carrefour finds even a tiny fault with a crate of its branded yogurts, it sends the whole batch back to the dairy producer, which is legally obliged to destroy the lot even if it is all of excellent quality.”
These donations will now result in the meals of millions of people, benefiting people globally. The law came on grassroots by local shoppers in order to expand it to the entire European Union.

Garot said, “The law makes it possible for manufacturers to give these yogurts to charities without even asking permission from supermarkets.”

The average American family of four throws away $1,500 per year in groceries. The waste from this is mostly unknown due to the confusion over dates on food labels and misplaced fears that the food could come out to be unsafe.