The topic of food waste is one that is often discussed in today’s society, and its harmful effects have been analyzed, but how bad is the situation in Finland in actuality? According to Saa Syödä.fi, the estimated annual amount of food waste in Finland is 360 million kilograms. The biggest percentage of food waste comes from independent households.
Stadin Safka is an organization that operates in partnership with the City of Helsinki and the Parish Union of Helsinki. They receive surplus food from different establishments and put it to good use, by delivering it to places that need it and giving it out at meal events etc. By doing this, Stadin Safka is contributing to developing food aid in Helsinki and helping to cut down on food waste in the area.
Huudikoutsit receive food donations from Stadin Safka every Monday. The amount varies weekly. At Huudikoutsit these donations are put to good use, as they are given to people in need. When the donations arrive at the office, the time is taken to sort through everything and organize it in a way that the products that are expiring the soonest are given out first and so forth. At Huudikoutsit, we pack our signature pink backpacks in the mornings with the donations we have received and these food items are given out to people who we encounter outside in the vicinity of metro stations. We have found that a lot of people we encounter truly need this food and other items that we are able to give and it is a great way to connect and start conversations. By building connections and communicating, we can offer our help in the best way possible.
So how do we help decrease the amount of food waste?
It is good to buy and make a portion of food that you know will be eaten before it goes bad. In most grocery stores, you can find shelves that are designated for food that is about to expire and these products are always discounted, so it is a good idea to shop these products and even freeze them for later. By doing this, you can save money and help the planet simultaneously. There are also websites and apps where you can purchase soon to be expired products for cheap and get them delivered to your house. Some restaurants have taken up using applications like ResQ, where they are able to sell surplus food at a discounted price to avoid having to throw it away. But is this enough? It seems like it is not, as restaurants and other catering services are responsible for an estimated 17% of food waste in Finland, so what else can be done to decrease the amount of food waste?
The text is written by student of bachelor of social services Nea.