If you didn’t spot this in the news, or hear about it through the grapevine, then where have you been? The internet was positively buzzing when our friends across the channel in France recently passed a truly amazing legislation that is quite frankly full of common sense- making it against the law for companies to purposely waste discarded food. And it’s with great thanks that this has happened due to one man in particular- Arash Derambarsh.

Arash Derambarsh the local councillor who kick-started the fight against food waste in Paris.

Arash Derambarsh is a local councillor from a Parisian suburb who got the fight against food waste in his area off the ground, but his success and ambition don’t stop there. He’s got further, grander ambitions to convince more countries to follow in France’s pioneering footsteps. This legislation is simply so good, so intelligent, but still so basic at the same time, that it would only be a good thing for it to go global, right?

Derambarsh considers the situation with food waste “scandalous and absurd”, as we’re sure you’d agree. In some instances food is deliberately spoiled, and all the while there are homeless, poor, and unemployed people around the world going hungry on a daily basis.

Right now, the world wastes 1/3 of its food supply, that’s right folks, A THIRD! That’s not right.

Mr Derambarsh took action by encouraging French MPs to adopt the banning order on deliberate food waste following an overwhelming petition he instigated that was signed by more than 200,000 people, along with added celebrity support, and all in just 16 weeks.

This new law will see the banning of all French supermarkets throwing away food coming up to best-before dates. This also applies to deliberately poisoning products with bleach to prevent foragers from retrieving the rejected products and using them to survive.

However, this is not the end of Arash’s work. He has wider plans to make other European countries see sense. And that goes for the entire world too, in his quest for them to get involved in similar bans.

When speaking to The Guardian, Mr Derambarsh had this to say: “Food is the basis of life, it is an elementary factor in our existence,” he told 

“I have been insulted and attacked and accused of being naive and idealistic, but I became a local councillor because I wanted to help people. Perhaps it is naive to be concerned about other human beings, but I know what it is like to be hungry.

When I was a law student living on about €400 a month after I’d paid my rent, I used to have one proper meal a day around 5pm. I’d eat pasta, or potatoes, but it’s hard to study or work if you are hungry and always thinking about where the next meal will come from.”

Arash is not a single, isolated incident. Far from it, in fact. At present, around 805 million worldwide do not have enough food. An image of third world areas of Africa spring to mind but that’s simply a stereotype. Low-wage working citizens and homeless people who live in developed nations are also having to cope with not being able to obtain enough food.

Did you know that roughly 7.1 million tonnes of food is currently thrown away in bins every year in France alone! 67% from consumers, 15% from restaurants, and 11% from shops. When combined, the result for food waste across the European Union is a quite staggering 89 million tonnes, which helps make up a projected 1.3 BILLION tonnes of food wasted globally.

Could the most significant side-effect of Arash’s efforts be the awareness that is currently being raised on a global level? For those who had no clue their country tossed out so much food might be more inspired to make the most of all their leftovers, donate extra food, or simply buy less than they really need.

An easy and effective way to make a difference is to take a shopping list with you when you go food shopping. That way you are going to reduce the lure of buying things that possibly won’t be consumed before their best-before date.

Here at Quality Unearthed we love talking and being around cool UK holiday accommodation, but in order for us to have these kind of luxuries we should all be doing our bit to help make the world a better place.

Image: Arash Derambarsh under Creative Commons.

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