Love Food, Hate Waste

Last week some students from our university invited people to eat pumpkin soup made from vegetables which would normally have been thrown away but were still good to eat. With this event they wanted to raise awareness of the tremendous food waste in Belgium. We believe this is a highly important topic and therefore want to tell you more about food waste in Belgium and how you can help to prevent it.

Did you know that we, the citizens of Belgium, are the second biggest food waster in the EU? Only our neighbors from the Netherlands waste more food than we do. Around 325 kg of food wastes every Belgian per year. One third of all food which is produced is thrown away and that is about 10.200 tons per day! Unfortunately, we only donate 10.000 tons of food per year. Do you think these numbers are alarming? We certainly do!

Food waste comes along the whole chain from farmer to consumers. Additionally, food waste has a harmful effect on our environment as 8% of the global greenhouse gas emission can be explained by food waste. As consumers, we often buy and prepare too much food which we eventually have to throw away. But also retail stores waste a lot of food. Due to legal reasons retailers can’t sell food anymore post its expiration date, although the food is often still good. Another cause of food waste is caused by the regulation which prohibits to sell damaged food. These products often end up in the trash. Due to the high-quality standards in developed countries supermarkets reject fresh fruit and products which do not meet the predefined criteria. These products are eventually thrown away too.

Restaurants always want to satisfy their customers and therefore tend to prepare way too much food in advance. Generally spoken food waste occurs when production is exceeding demand. Those are only a few examples which lead to food waste.

In the following we want to introduce you to some new and smart ideas on how to prevent food waste:


OLIO is an app which connects you with your community, like your neighbors. It’s a platform where you can offer or request food or non-food articles. It’s super easy to handle. You take a picture of the stuff you don’t need anymore, add a description, decide if you want to give it away for free or if you want a certain price for it and donate the money and then share it with your community. Other users can message you in order to arrange a date and place to exchange the food.

Bourse aux dons is a multisectoral platform open to any type of food business and accessible to any type of food aid organization, regardless of their food aid activity. The platform enables food donations by connecting food companies with unsold food (donors) to food aid organizations looking for donations (recipients).

Too good to go’ is another app which helps to avoid the tremendous food waste. Restaurants, bakeries or supermarkets have leftovers at the end of the day which they can’t sell anymore. With the help of too good to go stores are able to offer “magic bags” filled left-over food. When you scroll through the app you can see stores nearby and purchase one of those magic-bags. This way you get food for a reduced price and stores don’t have to throw it away later.

Happy Hour markets is a start-up located in Brussels which provides the same services as the too good to go app.

We love all those apps because they make the prevention of food waste a fun and social activity!! But always keep in mind: shop smart and realistically!

By Anabel Herzsprung and Antonia Brinker ( 


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