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Swedes throw away food worth billions: report

3 Aug 2012, 17:07

Published: 03 Aug 2012 17:07 GMT+02:00

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“We had only made very simple estimations before and believed that more than half of the waste came from shops. But it has become clear that the largest share comes from households,” said Hans Wrådhe of the agency to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).

Lacking data on the food wastage in the country, the agency decided to initiate a probe, which came up with a surprising discovery.

Previously, authorities had believed that the largest share of wasted food stuffs was generated by food stores, but instead, it is the Swedish households that waste most food every year.

Shops and supermarkets still make up a large share of the food waste however and many of the larger chains are now seeking to keep waste to a minimum by cooperating with charities, such as the Salvation Army and with women’s crisis centres.

“To reduce wastage of food is important both environmentally and from a financial viewpoint. We will save a significant amount of money by wasting less food,” said Maria Smith at supermarket chain ICA to DN.

Efforts are being made to reduce food wastage both as a Nordic initiative and at an EU-level. It is also a priority in a new strategy for sustainable waste management (Avfallsplanen) for 2012 to 2017, according to the paper.

The Local/rm

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Your comments about this article

23:36 August 3, 2012 by Opinionfool
I've read this report before; the British press were full of the same claims only a few months ago saying that Brits throw away billions worth of food. There really is nothing new under the sun (or for the Brits nothing new in the Sun).
15:26 August 4, 2012 by Mb 65
The amount of fruit I have thrown away because when I cut it open it is bad inside. My advise is always use a knife on fruit do not bite into it.
17:01 August 4, 2012 by rybo1
I think that " best before" dates have a lot to do with throwing out food.
17:25 August 4, 2012 by Eric1
The study/report is designed to leave the impression that people are wasteful. Most people don't want to waste money on food therefore food isn't thrown out just for the sake of it.

If we want to talk about waste, the government, all governments know about this. Wasting billions every year on "feel good" policies that help no one.
18:08 August 4, 2012 by Steggles
What I would like to know is what happens to all the prepared foods that are still on display at the end of each day!

Also the supermarkets & food outlets stock far too much so called daily fresh foods........it's all just mauled and bruised each day and most would be wasted.
22:25 August 4, 2012 by Migga
Bunch of loony globalists who live in a dreamworld where they want fresh papaya and pineapple in the far north of the world. Here`s a newsflash, they won`t stay fresh for long. Time to wake up and start eating some local apples.
12:10 August 5, 2012 by cogito
Why is 5-day-old bread still sold at full price in the stores?

Why don't bakeries sell bread left over at the end of the day at half price to avoid having to throw it out?
14:24 August 5, 2012 by Lovelygirl
I have been to a Swedish birthday party, which was for family so there was food for the guests. When the party ended I offered help by placing the left overs in bulks in the fridge. The owner of the house, a woman didn't allow me. Instead, she threw all away. I couldn't believe my eyes! She laughed at me when I say that I save the left overs either for the next day or I freeze them if possible for later on, she said she would never EVER do that and gave me a look like if I were crazy or disgusting... let me clarify 2 things, first the food was fresh and perfectly fine, not even exposed to get contaminated for lack of cold, second, she has 2 kids to take care of and her financial situation is not good (as a matter of fact many of the food she threw was bought by me because I wanted to collaborate). I know her family thinks the same and I wonder if this is a common thing here... x_x
15:17 August 5, 2012 by Stockholm student
We students that live in student corridors are given crappy refrigerators. Plus there are a number of careless neighbours that don't close the fridges and the freezers properly in spite of knowing the common problem.. Not only we end up throwing a lot of food, but it is also hard on our student budgets! Wish SSSB was more involved in controlling student discipline!
13:02 August 6, 2012 by scientist22
They would throw away less food if it did not taste as shyte as Swedish husmankost
14:12 August 6, 2012 by Rishonim
I can't imagine Swedish throwing away food as they are extremely stingy with food and booze. Whenever I get invited to any Swedish friend home, I make sure to eat something beforehand ;-)...... Still, this is the only country where it is virtually impossible to get proper fruits and veggies. two out of three avocados are crap and the same goes for oranges, grapes etc. I can't understand how come the merchants can get away with selling such inferior produce and on top of that they charge you 2Kronor to advertise their company of a plastic bag. I refuse to pay 2kr for a plastic bag bearing the name of the supermarket. If they want to charge then they should provide bags without their name branded on it...
05:54 August 11, 2012 by Puffy Taco
I collect my veggie scraps in the freezer until I have enough, then put in my heavy duty blender with some cottonseed for "compost" breakdown, and feed it to my plants in the yard. Egg shells and coffee grounds work well too, but read up on the grounds--it depends on your soil type.

Re those "Best before" dates, they're are very conservative; there is still a good bit of shelf life to go. I'm not dead yet!
01:18 August 13, 2012 by Schwoebel
I've experienced the same thing here as Lovelygirl. Back in the states we have no problem saving food after parties, as it's most likely enough to last 2,3, or even 4 lunches afterwards. Getting "doggy-bags" are no problem for me either. Yet I do see people just scraping perfectly fine good out of serving dishes and into the garbage, or leaving a restaurant with their plate still 60% full or more. My wife explained that it's a cultural thing. That it makes you look poor to save leftovers. I promptly respond. F-that, I'd rather look poor saving food than BE poor having to buy extra food on top of what I already spend!!! If some meatball eater wants to look down on me for trying to save a few kr. than SO BE IT!
08:52 August 13, 2012 by OUIJA
instead of throwing away food, Swedes should throw away their dictatorial government
17:54 August 13, 2012 by alecLoTh
Its not only Sweden, all the mass-producing developed countries have this problem. Is it important to know yes, is it news - no!
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