Less food waste for the holidays!

We all love to share food and drinks together with family or friends for the Christmas holidays, but some traditions are better to revise and adapt. Having a more ethical and slow christmas is easier that you could think, lets make this christmas slower.

10 facts about food waste in Belgium you need to know:

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  1. Europe produces the half of the world food waste every year, around 88 million tons. Food waste suppose a 10 per cent of the total emission of CO2 to the atmosphere.
  2. In 2017, Belgium was declared the second most food-wasting country in Europe, following the Nederlands, Belgians waste around 345 kilos of food per person each year (or 3.6 million tons). That supposes a third part of the total food in the country.
  3. According to a Deloitte study, Belgian households spend +/- €432 on gifts, food and drinks for their families during Christmas, which is 20% higher than the annual average.
  4. In Brussels, foodstuffs account for 12% of the volume of white household waste (15 kg of food per person per year = 15,000 tonnes).
  5. In Flanders only, consumers waste around 18 to 26 kg of food per year. For an average family (2.4 people) this means between 42 and 61 kg of food per year. If we add up the losses of all households in Flanders, we arrive at a total loss of 116,000 to 168,000 tonnes of food.
  6. Always in Flanders, food waste accounts for 15% of residual household waste, in terms of quantity and weight, bread is the most frequently thrown away foodstuff.
  7. Gent's food strategy 'Gent en Garde' launched the project 'FoodSavers', which collects surplus food through a logistics platform and delivers it to social organisations in Ghent.
  8. In the municipalities of Herstal and Namur, a new rule requires supermarkets to donate unsold products that are still good to voluntary associations that redistribute them to those who need it.
  9. “This is like a circular vision of food production, and food waste is embedded in this, but it’s bigger, it’s about the whole sustainable food system.” We need to change the way we think about food. Condamine, policy officer of Zero Waste Europe reminds us that food waste is not only a Christmas problem.
  10. An average of 7 tons of food are thrown away per minute in a world where inequalities are getting bigger. This time of the year calls for solidarity, so we are sharing some tips to have a bit more ethical holidays this year.
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10 tips to celebrate a #slowchristmas

  1. Before the holidays, plan the menu and buy judiciously only what is necessary. Instead of losing yourself, it can be a good idea to think carefully about the number of meals and the quantity you need. Also think carefully when buying promotion and discounts products, and consider fair trade products!
  2. If you really want to serve meat or fish, care for the quality and processes. The less industrialised is the process, the less impact it has on the environment. Wild fishes and free run birds are less negative options. Make your menu balanced and with plenty of veggies.
  3. Always buy veggies in season and avoid exotic kinds. If you can buy loose veggies, avoiding the packaging and buying accurately just what you need. Besides, if its cold outside, you can store and conserve them out of the fridge.
  4. Invite your guests to serve themselves or prepare a buffet, so that they only put on their plates what they really want to eat. If you want to make more courses, reduce the amount of food proposed for each dish. If you want to offer a lot of different courses, you can use small plates to give the illusion of bigger portions.
  5. Take your time and enjoy the meal with your family and friends. Take time between the courses. This allows you and your guests to eat better, digesting and to refill only if necessary.
  6. Although there may always be space for desserts, remember that by the end of the meal all the guests will be full, so offer light desserts in small portions. Fruit is also a good refreshing desert after a heavy meal.
  7. Make some space in your fridge and freezer to store leftovers. What you don't eat today can be eaten in the next few days. It can also be re-proposed and made into new recipes.
  8. Communicate with your guests. Consider offering your guests to share some of the leftovers or tell them the menu in advance. If you are a guest, ask your host!- So then you won’t have too much food or twice the same dish. You can also ask them to bring a plate or containers.
  9. If, after dividing up the leftovers and putting what you can in the freezer, there is still something left over, consider giving to someone who needs it a good home-cooked meal and a happy Christmas. They will appreciate it. You can also make a post on different apps, maybe your friends or followers can help!
  10. Composting is always a good idea. And remember, there is a difference between -use by- labels and best-before ones!


Internationale ESC-vrijwilliger uit Spanje, met een passie voor politiek en blij om meer ecologische en duurzame manieren te ontdekken in België.

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