If we waste food, does it mean that food has no value for us at all or that it has very low value?
Moreover, did we also lose the value of fruition’s act?
Eating, as food, has a complex value done by various stratified meanings: agricultural, nutritional, historical, ecological, political, relational, cultural, traditional, etc…
Food Waste is due by standardization and industrialization, because it started when food became more affordable, not to say cheap. In fact food is cheap as a consequence of mass production, it lost its value and we lost respect for it.
The philosophy of “throwing away” is definitely easier and more comfortable than reinventing a second life for food. Instead the history of cuisine taught us the opposite: Pizza, Spaghetti, Paella, Risotto, which are remarkable dishes recognized all over the world, are the perfect example of recipes obtained in order to recycle leftovers.
Said that, it’s easy to understand how food waste is symbol of market’s failure, which creates a situation of surplus. There are illogical food losses along the supply chain, but food waste represents at the same time a structural element of food system itself, fundamental within the dynamic of pricing.
Anyway we should start to be aware that food waste is damaging environment, feeding more and more global pollution. If we also consider obesity epidemic, it’s possible to underline another aspect of the phenomenon, defined by Blair and Sobal (2006) as “Luxurious Consumption: Wasting Food Resources through Overeating”.
Then it could be a solution not only to produce less and to produce better (quality), but even to consume (eat) less. To spend less means also to pollute less and to waste less, with the possibility to save resources and money, being healthy. The traditional message “it’s good for you, it’s good for the planet” is in addition the perfect answer during time of crisis.
One third of the global production is going to finish in the trash, or else 165 thousand millions of dollars. A lot of money. A lot of value. On the other hand a lot of people are hungry and food insecure. If we observe the waste generated by over-consumption, we can probably deduce that nowadays in certain parts of the world food has the same value of the gift paper, after having opened the package.
The value of food? It’s the value we give to it.
In the next articles we will discover which value, or better saying “values”, it can have…