From food shortage to abundance

Coming from a place – Moscow - where there were food shortages, Selina Juul was first stunned with the abundance in Danish supermarkets only to become shocked later with how much food was being wasted.

Back in 2008, she created a “Food Waste” Facebook page and, within a week, she became a national figure. She started with supermarkets. Rema 1000, for instance, a supermarket chain with 283 stores across Denmark, decided to start offering discounts on single items being purchased, rather than multi-buy offers, and they claim it was because of Selina.

Selina Juul

Selina Juul - image source: BBC

According to Max Skov Hansen, a grocery manager, staff at his store used to throw away 80 to 100 bananas every day and since they put up the sign “take me, I’m single”, they have reduced the waste on bananas by 90%.

She then focused on consumers, the biggest wasters across the food chain. She published a Leftovers Cookbook and is now working with 3 governments on developing education programmes in schools to raise awareness on food waste and food management among kids.

She then moved on to restaurants and managed to distribute over 80,000 doggy bags to restaurateurs across the country. Her whole life became about fighting food waste. Why? “It’s disrespectful”, according to Selina.

She goes on by claiming that “food waste is also the lack of respect for our nature, for our society, for the people who produce the food, for the animals, and the lack of respect for your time and your money, because you throw the food away that you’ve been buying, and you waste your time and you waste your money.”. The Danish government credits Selina for its dramatic drop in food waste. And since that country has reduced their food waste by 25% in only five years, we should never really underestimate the power of a single person that truly believes in a cause.

Find out how Jerónimo Martins is reducing Food Waste through Ready Meal Solutions.