Among the trends focused on caring for the Planet, there is only self-production. There are five new habits that help to protect the environment and to avoid unnecessary food waste in the refrigerator, in the pantry and at the table. Among the latest findings, where creativity goes hand-in-hand with the latest technological findings, there are also apps for smart phones.
In the US, the doggy bag habit is known to all and loved even by chef Gordon Ramsey, while in China they call it Dabao and it seems to have ancient origins. In Italy, however, taking leftovers home is still considered a bit humiliating, even though things are slowly changing. According to a Coldiretti Survey in the summer of 2014 on this point, only ten per cent of Italians regularly ask to take leftovers home. Research shows that 24 percent of Italians are ashamed to make this request, while 25 percent claims not leaving leftovers when dining out, hinting that they know how to order something from the menu sparingly and intelligently. One thing is certain, the Italian law seems to be on the side of customers who want to take home their doggy bag. A ruling of the Italian Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of a citizen of Friuli who insulted a landlord who refused to hand over the remains of a dinner.
From a Coldiretti report in 2012, 30 percent of Italians buy more food products in bulk than in the past. According to this survey, buying food in bulk is the new frontier of sustainable consumption. More and more retail outlets in Italy and abroad are offering customers food, beverages and detergents on tap as an alternative to the sale of packaged products in traditional packaging. And not just small shops offer this type of product, but also supermarkets belonging to large retailers, which are meeting a growing need among people to buy in a conscious way, with an eye to waste, and attempting to pare down their environmental impact to a minimum. But it is not only an ethical motivation that drives families to purchase products on tap. According to a study of the National Consumers Association in 2011 on bulk detergents, this habit can save households more than 205 euro per year.
Your city does not recycle food? Make compost!
According to the 2014 report on waste conducted by ISPRA (Institute for the Protection and Environmental Protection), 15 percent of the organic waste produced in 2012 by the European Union countries, was used in composting plants while in Italy the management of wet waste through composting, is in constant growth, especially in the north of the country. Families who do not have this service in their municipality of residence, while they’re waiting, can organize themselves to dispose of their waste by creating a compost balcony. Thus good part of domestic waste is turned into humus: for example fruits, vegetables, egg shells, coffee grounds and cut flowers. It is a home fertilizer at no cost to families looking to get on with the elimination of wet waste, until they decide to buy or make themselves a composter. According to Campagna Amica, a Foundation to protect agriculture and the environment and promoted by Coldiretti, building a compost bin is not difficult and produces great environmental benefits. Not only does it eliminate a large amount of organic waste in dumps, but also allows us to have a fertilizer for plants and vegetables that is free of charge and whose origins are known.
Smart phone technology is at the service of the environment, thanks to a variety of applications all born in creative minds – Italian and foreign – with the aim of reducing food waste. Green egg shopper is an app that the English can try before buying food and helps improve larder management at home. It keeps track of all the products purchased and alerts you if at home there are products coming to maturity. Love food hate waste is another app designed by WRAP, an Anglo-Saxon nonprofit organization. The application, formulated as a game in points, helps reduce food waste. As a first app, Love food hate Waste also aims to increase people's awareness of waste, helping them to change habits, for the good of the Planet. Foodsharing, a German app, was born to share with other people who use the service, excess food, with the same aim as the Italian ratatouille, created by four guys from Treviso.
Not only do apps exist for private citizens. Wise up on waste is an application designed to help those working in professional kitchens to track purchases and to identify where and when waste is being in generate in the pantry. Breading, born this year thanks to nine young men from Lombard, is aimed at bakers, bread shops and bars where unsold bread is picked up so that it can be used by charities. Bring the food allows food donors – even spontaneous ones – to publish their donations and to check its route to institutions and individuals, while those who collect, can come to an agreement directly with donors.
The matter of recycling and environmentalism have also touched a nerve among the most celebrated chefs. Il buono che avanza is a project promoted by “Cena dell’Amicizia Onlus” a Milanese voluntary organization that involves numerous Italian restaurants that care about the issue of food waste. Among the prominent names of professionals participating in the initiative are Davide Oldani and Pietro Leeman, celebrity chefs and ambassadors for Expo Milano 2015. At the restaurants participating in the project, customers are encouraged to take home what they ordered, but weren’t able to eat. Another starred chef careful about food waste is the Marche Cedroni Moreno, who is also an Ambassador of the upcoming Universal Exposition, while the chef Nicola Vizzarri has even created, during the European Week for Waste Reduction, a cooking class called "Cycle and recycling "in the name of respect for the Planet and the clever reuse of leftovers.