Baptiste Dubanchet from the city of Tours in central France feels strongly about how much food we waste every day. But instead of just complaining about it he is actively taking matters into his own hands.
He’s making his protest known by only eating stuff that people throw away.
The 25-year-old is an environmentalist with a master’s degree in sustainable development. The idea for the project came to Baptiste during his trip to Colombia, South East Asia and Tahiti, where he saw extreme poverty and people going without food on a regular basis.
“I was rich in poor countries, I was sad these people were so poor,” he said. “These people have no choice, they did not choose to be poor, so I decided to do something to show how much good food we waste.”
To make his point, he is currently cycling 3,000 miles from Paris to Warsaw, and living exclusively on food from dumpsters, items that have been discarded by supermarkets, restaurants and bakeries on the way.
Incidentally, his mission coincides with the European Year against Food Waste, led by The European Parliament.
According to a report by UNEP and the World Resources Institute (WRI), about one-third of all food produced worldwide gets wasted.
Chew on this:
- Each year, consumers in industrialized countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (222 million vs. 230 million tons).
- The amount of food lost and wasted every year is equal to more than half of the world’s annual cereal crop (2.3 billion tons in 2009/10).
- In America, organic waste is the second highest component of landfills, which are the largest source of methane emissions. Moreover 30-40 percent of the food supply is wasted, equaling more than 9 kilograms of food per person per month.
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In a world where
- 42 million people - or one in eight human beings in the world - do not have enough to eat.
- 50 percent of pregnant women in developing countries lack proper maternal care, resulting in 240,000 maternal deaths annually from childbirth.
- 1 out of 6 infants are born with a low birth weight in developing countries.
- Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five - 3.1 million children each year. That is 8,500 children per day.
- A third of all childhood death in sub-Saharan Africa is caused by hunger.
- 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone.
- Every 10 seconds, a child dies from hunger-related diseases…
We sincerely hope proper action is taken to eradicate hunger globally and it doesn’t mean huge budgets and global drives that take years to achieve their goals. Being smart about our food and not wasting it can make a significant change. Countries that are better off need to make an effort to channel the food they do not consume to countries that are short of it.
After all, nothing is more sacred than sustaining human life.