Food for thought

France recently enacted a national law that will address the problem of food waste

Fresh food waste is bad for everyone. Wasting food hurts the environment, struggling families and food retailers. Fortunately, there are creative ways to avoid such waste. Last month, France enacted a national law compelling supermarkets to donate wasted food to charities and food banks. Italy is planning to introduce similar legalisation in the near future.

The UAE is no stranger to the problem of food waste. Supermarkets regularly throw away produce that has just passed sell-by date. In Abu Dhabi alone, uneaten food accounts for nearly a third of the waste generated in the emirate each year.

We can follow France’s example and devise an innovative way of ensuring that uneaten food ends up in the hands of the needy. The creation of additional charities to handle the food surplus will solve this problem. We need better incentives to encourage supermarkets to stop simply throwing away unused food staples. Solving this problem will be a benefit to society at large.