tirsdag den 9. april 2013

Think.Eat.Save - Don’t Label Obese People as Food Wasters

by Selina Juul, Founder of Stop Wasting Food movement Denmark

While the focus on food waste is growing throughout the world, the discussions about the causes of food waste emerge in the media, the conferences, meetings and workshops.

One of these discussions touches the subject of food waste and obesity, where the food waste experts tend to label obese people as “food wasters” – due to the repeating argument that obese people have bigger daily calorie intake than their bodies actually require - in a world where millions of people go hungry.

Labeling obese people as “food wasters” is not only the wrong approach to the battle against food waste - it’s also a step in a completely wrong direction.

If the obese people are labeled as “food wasters”, well what about the people suffering from Anorexia eating disorder – should they be labeled as good “anti food wasters”?

And what about the teenagers, who often tend to eat a bit too much food while they are growing – should they also be sacrificed on the food waste altar? 

And should we praise eating habits of people such as actress Angelina Jolie, who is starving herself to maintain her Hollywood looks under the cover of “sympathizing with all the hungry children of the world”?

Should we start telling people what to eat and what not to eat? Should we start dictating people’s diets and point fingers at those, who tend to eat too much?

Labeling obese people as “food wasters” is a very sensitive topic. Obesity has roots in psychological, socio-economic, cultural and genetic issues. Obese people are facing enough discrimination already. Rest assured, obesity should be addressed – but adding a “food waster” label is not going to solve the problem, it will only add another label and yet another excuse to point fingers. 

Today, the fight against food waste is already been used as an excuse to serve other agendas. Due to the topic’s massive media exposure, food waste is used for greenwashing, pulling the political scheme, commercial interests and other related issues - diverting the actual fight against food waste from the right path. 

Let us all get back on the right track and focus on the essence of fighting against food waste. 

Let’s solve the real problems here – instead of focusing on the symptoms and creating diversions.