How often do you throw away groceries? No one really counts that, but it sure happens to every one of us. And we know: it happens way too often. Whether we didn’t organize our food consume for an upcoming week and just bought too much, or waited to long to cook a dish and precious fruits and vegetables tainted, lots of groceries find their way into garbage bins while uncountable people on the other side of the planet would have been more than thankful for these. In this situation it’s on us to visualize in which privileged society we live in. How ironic and sad it is, to even have the option to throw away food. Not only end consumers waste food, tons are thrown away in the whole supply chain.
I found some interesting and devastating world hunger statistics on the website of the food aid foundation. 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That’s about one in nine people on earth. The vast majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries, where 12.9 percent of the population is undernourished. Can you believe that roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year, approximately 1.3 billion tonnes, gets lost? Fruits and vegetables have the highest wastage rates of any food. Food loss and waste also amount to a major squandering of resources, including water, land, energy, labour and capital and needlessly produce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming and climate change. “Food loss refers to any food that is lost in the supply chain between the producer and the market. This may be the result of pre-harvest problems, or problems in harvesting, handling, storage, packing or transportation. Tomatoes crushed during transport because of improper packaging is one example of food loss. Food waste, on the other hand, refers to the discarding of food that is safe and nutritious for human consumption. Food is wasted in many ways: Fresh produce that deviates from what is considered optimal in terms of shape, size and color, for example is often removed from the supply chain during sorting operations. Foods that are close to, at or beyond the “best-before” date are often discarded by retailers and consumers. Large quantities of wholesome edible food are often unused or left over and discarded from household kitchens and eating establishments. And this is where the Start Up Etepetete comes into play. (Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)
A few weeks ago Etepetete came up to me introducing their company. Since 2014 they questioned food waste and had the vision to create a nationwide, organic food box containing raw food collected from 100 percent organic farmers in Germany. Without much float they crowdfunded their idea and started packing up boxes with help of friends and family in 2015. Etepetete started to hire staff, and slowly they made their way from their own warehouse in Munich, Germany, to the point where they saved 1.3 Million kilograms of fruits and vegetables.
With a network of organic farmers Etepetete created a safe haven for raw food looking a little more extravagant, but tasting the same as perfectly shaped, shiny food in a supermarket. Not only by avoiding food waste the company impresses with sustainability, but also because of a much shorter supply chain and plastic-free, recyclable packaging. You can chose the date of delivery and also pick a box: Vegetable boxes, fruit boxes, mixed boxes and raw food ones – each in different sizes between 4 and 7 kilogram. Currently Etepetete is working on the possibility to pick certain types of vegetables and fruits and the option to send back the empty package.
A couple of days ago I read a sentence on social media that really impressed me. We don’t need a handful of people being perfectly sustainable, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly. You can start today and do something that your future self and also people living in our future will thank us for. And I believe every tiny step in the right direction, getting more aware of how we consume and how to do it better, makes also our beautiful planet and life a little better. And we should not forget how far we’ve come: There are people out there with amazing ambitions. The people of Etepetete are part of it, and they need our support!