onsdag den 16. august 2017

The Huffington Post - Disrupt The Food Chain - And Stop Food Waste

by Selina Juul, Founder of Stop Wasting Food movement Denmark and Michiel Kernkamp, CEO of Nestlé Nordic

This article is co-written Michiel Kernkamp, CEO of Nestlé Nordic.


Want to make a positive change in the world? Stop wasting food. It’s that simple!

A wonky carrot in the back of your fridge or a banana with few brown spots are perfectly edible and are aimed to end up in your belly - not your trash bin. If you start saving the food, you will end up saving the world.

According to the EU, around 88 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in the EU, with associated costs estimated at 143 billion Euros. According to the UN, the food currently wasted in Europe could feed 200 million people. The food currently lost or wasted in Latin America could feed 300 million people. And the food currently lost in Africa could feed 300 million people. And globally, food losses and waste are enough to feed 3 billion people – in a world where every ninth child, woman and man are starving. Not to forget the fact that if food loss and waste were its own country, it would be the world’s third-largest greenhouse gas emitter.

Growing global focus on food waste
At the United Nations’ SAVE FOOD World Congress in Düsseldorf, where Selina Juul recently spoke, the escalating fight against food waste was on top of the agenda. At the first SAVE FOOD World Congress back in 2011 in Düsseldorf, comparing to today, a huge development has been made. Literally hundreds of food waste prevention and reducing initiatives have been born, and the entire food value chain has been activated.

At the “A Great Day for Food Innovation” summit at the Danish Food Cluster, where Michiel Kernkamp spoke recently, the fight against food waste was also on top of the agenda, and many food companies are making good progress. Recently, IKEA announced aim to halve food waste at its restaurants by mid-2020, and the upcoming Minister for Environment and Food of Denmark Mr. Esben Lunde Larsen’s World Food Summit “Better Food for More People” in Copenhagen has food waste on top of the agenda. From EU to UN to big corporations - the fight against food waste is on. And it’s about time!

As the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Mr. Vytenis Andriukaitis, who also spoke at the SAVE FOOD World Congress, emphasized, we are in a great hurry to start reducing food losses and waste, not at least to achieve the targets of UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, which calls for the halving of food losses and waste by 2030. Recently, Selina Juul has become a member og global Champions 12.3 - a global group of high-level experts and CEO’s to promote the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. She joins high level global NGO, industry and government - among them Minister for Environment and Food of Denmark Mr. Esben Lunde Larsen and Chairman of Nestlé Paul Bulcke.

United against food waste
There is not a One Miracle Solution to end food loss and waste. We must be united against food waste, only all parties in the food supply chain can make a positive and lasting impact. It is only through an end-to-end “farm to fork” approach that we can achieve our targets - and often a local action can create a global impact.

At the agricultural stages, the main focus should be on preventing the food losses, to prevent the food getting lost during the farming and productions stages. Companies like Nestlé aim to improve quality of life and contribute to a healthier future and reduce food waste - with preservation and better utilization at the origin of the creation of the food industry - is clearly core to this aim.

Through agricultural initiatives like the ‘Nescafé plan’ and the ‘Nestlé cocoa plan’ for example the company aims to help farmers better utilize their land, increase yields, reduce water and chemical usage and improve farmers’ livelihoods. It has similar initiatives in place with other agricultural partners like dairy farmers.

Last year the first global Food Loss and Waste Accounting Standard was introduced. Nestlé and Selina Juul participated in that work together with Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), EU Food Use for Social Innovation by Optimizing Waste Prevention Strategies (FUSIONS), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and World Resources Institute (WRI).

The standard aims to quantify food waste based on the thinking that “what can be measured, can be managed”. At the same time Nestlé has committed to achieve Zero waste to landfill in its manufacturing operations by 2020 and they have recently announced their ambition to have zero environmental impact from their global manufacturing operations by 2030. By improving forecasting accuracy and planning process they actively increase the efficient utilization of food. It is good and important to donate the surplus food to the charities - but it’s event more important to work on preventing the overproduction of food to begin with.

Through the Nestlé Portion Guidance initiative, Nestlé helps consumers make the right decisions in order to eat the right amounts. This is good for combatting food waste but is of course also the right healthy option. All in an effort to contribute to eliminating food waste - and to prevent overeating, since the food waste and obesity are large problemt around the world.

Why don’t we disrupt the food chain – and reverse it?
In the Western society, where we, the consumers, contribute to a large share of the food wasted, we have the largest potential to stop wasting food. Minimizing your food waste is a low hanging fruit to make a positive impact – not only on the environment and by that improving our food system but also on your personal economy and time. Fighting food waste is a very low hanging fruit and there are a lot of actions you can take on a personal level to make a global impact.

But before we provide you with a catalogue of ideas in the food chain, please have a look at it this way: What if we ‘disrupted’ the whole food chain – and made it totally reverse? Imagine... as John Lennon wanted us to do.

If we were able to reverse the food chain and have the perfect data, so we can eat what we cook, cook what we store, store what we buy, buy what we produce and produce what we harvest. Food waste will soon will be a thing of the past.

Unfortunately, data imperfection between the different elements of the value chain currently prevent an optimal consumer triggered supply chain. New developments like connected fridges, portioned meal boxes, recipe data bases triggering portioned food purchase or E-tailers tracking your consumption patterns will help a more accurate consumer data driven food supply chain thus helping to eliminate the waste, which results from each party in the food supply chain trying to predict what the other party is going to produce, buy, store or cook.

Utilizing new technology will therefore help preventing the waste from occurring in the first place.

So, what can you actually do to stop wasting food? Here, we present a couple of good advices...

What can you do in the supermarket:

Planning is a good weapon in the fight against food waste. Before you go grocery shopping, make sure to make a meal plan, a shopping list or even easier: Take your smartphone and take a picture of the content of your fridge. You will have an easy reminder of what you already have and what you will need to buy.

Never buy on an empty stomach – snap a banana or a biscuit before going grocery shopping. If you go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, you will risk buying more food than you actually need.

Control your inner hamster, while grocery shopping. Be in control of the bulk discounts, instead of letting the bulk discounts controlling you.

Choose smaller size of shopping carts and shopping baskets – a large shopping cart or a shopping basket will automatically make you buy more food than you actually need. If you want to buy just the amount of food you need, choose a smaller shopping cart or a smaller shopping basket. Remember to carry your shopping basket in your hand, instead of pulling it behind you on wheels. When you carry the shopping basket in your hand, you will have better control of the amount of food that you buy, because the shopping basket gets heavier and heavier.

Buy the food close to its expiration date – it’s often much cheaper. You will also help the supermarkets to reduce their food waste.

Use bulk discounts with caution – use the bulk discounts only if you are sure that you are going to use all the food, otherwise, it will be your money down the drain.

Ugly and wonky taste just the same – buy ugly and wonky fruits and vegetables. Just because the cucumber is bendy, it tastes just the same as a straight one. And remember to buy single bananas – the single bananas need more love.

Buy food for several days and have a good plan to use the leftovers. Plan for leftovers while buying the food. For example, yesterday’s leftover salmon can turn into today’s salmon salad.

Keep your food fresh – make sure to get home quickly after buying your groceries. Keep the food in cooling bags and don’t let your groceries sweat in a warm car for hours.

What can you do at home in your kitchen:

Use the food that you already have in your refrigerator, your kitchen cupboards and in your freezer. Less food waste means that you will save your money, you will save your time – and at the same time you will save the planet and value the work done by the farmers spending their valuable time and efforts producing your food.

Have a flow in your fridge, your freezer and your kitchen cupboards, so the older foods are placed at the front – and preferably at your eye level, so you are constantly reminded to use up that food first.

Have a central place to store your leftovers and use your leftovers in new meals, no matter if it is a weekday, weekend or a holiday like Christmas/Easter/Thanksgiving/Hanukkah/Eid/etc. Store your leftovers in a central place in your refrigerator, so you always remember to use them.

Leftovers is free bonus food – create a new attitude towards your leftovers. When you use your leftovers, you save a trip to the supermarket, you save your time and you save your money. A leftover chicken can be used in an omelet. A leftover cream can be frozen and used in soups or stews.

Have Empty Your Fridge Days to use up all your leftovers. Sunday is usually a good day to cook meals with leftovers. Once every month, have an Empty Your Freezer Day too. Also, be sure to have the Empty Your Fridge/Freezer Days before holidays like Christmas/Easter/Thanksgiving/Hanukkah/Eid/etc. to make new room for all the good leftovers.

Make sure that your meal with leftovers look aesthetically pleasing – just because it’s leftovers, it does not mean that your plate should look like trash. The meal should always look inviting.

Your refrigerator is not your garbage bin – make sure that no old leftovers are left to die in the back of your fridge. Remember not to overstuff your fridge. If you overstuff your fridge, it will be more difficult for the cold air to circulate in the fridge – and thus keeping the food fresh. Keep good hygiene and regularly clean your fridge and your freezer.

Stop producing the UFO’s – yes, the Unidentified Frozen Objects in your freezer. UFO’s are all the good leftovers that you freeze and then forget all about them for a year or two. After a year or two, you usually throw them out. Your time, your money, good food and your electricity bills all for nothing. Prevent UFOs by freezing the leftovers in smaller portions, and always have a system to note what you have frozen and when. And remember to use the food in your freezer, so your freezer won’t become the last stop before the garbage bin.

Learn to store the food properly – apples, pears, bananas and oranges should not be in contact with each other, otherwise they will ripen faster. Tomatoes, avocados, potatoes, bananas and citrus fruits must be stored outside the refrigerator. Use packaging only suitable for food.

Learn about the date labeling – the “Use By” label is used on fresh meat, fresh fish, fresh chicken, etc. It’s not advisable to eat the food after the expiration of “Use By” date. Meanwhile, the “Best Before” label is used on pasta, rice, cookies, chocolate, corn flakes, etc. You can eat the food after the expiration of “Best Before” date. In other words, “Best Before” doesn’t mean “Toxic After”.

Do not cook for 11 people if you are 8 people for dinner – many people constantly tend to cook and serve too much food. A good idea is to cook 30% less food and to calculate portion sizes before making the food.

Use smaller size of plates and dishes – for the past 20 years, the sizes of plates have grown all over the world. By using a smaller size plates and dishes on the dinner table, you will make sure that you will waste less food. The bigger the plate is, the more you are tempted to fill it up with food. A smaller size of plate also prevents overeating.

More is not always better – focus on quality of food, rather than quantity. When you buy food of better quality, you will also tend to waste less. It is much easier to waste cheap junk food than more expensive organic food.

The food should not sweat on the dinner table for many hours – no need to put all the food on the dinner table at once. Serve gradually to keep the food fresh.

Do not mix things when saving your leftovers – many dishes are better if not mixed up, so they can be stored better. Store vegetables and meats separately for optimal reuse.

Save your food – most of your surplus food and the leftovers can be frozen. Leftovers of many dishes can be frozen. Bread can be sliced up and frozen. Even cream, herbs, vegetables, fruits, hard cheese can be frozen as well. But remember to keep track of your frozen leftovers, and remember to use them. Also, freeze in smaller portions for better convenience and optimal reuse.

Have a great number of food storage containers to store your leftovers. A good advice is also to have a roll of fridge and freezer bags located directly in your refrigerator. This will automatically remind you to use them and save your food.

Don’t eat moldy food – if there is mold on one side of the bread, the entire bread has to go. Yet, some moldy foods can be eaten while cutting off the mold, such as hard cheese or carrots.

Keep a Food Waste Diary during holidays like Christmas/Easter/Thanksgiving/Hanukkah/Eid/etc. to track how much food you throw out and why. That way you will learn to do better and better next time the holidays are approaching.

Share your surplus food with your neighbor if you have cooked too much food. After a big dinner, give homemade doggy bags to your guests. If you have fruit trees in your garden, but no time to pick the fruits, use social media to engage your friends to come and help you to pick the fruits. Bonus: You will get happier friends and neighbors.

Regrow your food – you can regrow celery, garlic, spring onions, cabbage, salad, herbs, fennel, coriander, carrots, leeks and much more – right in your own home. Join the regrow trend and grow your own free food.

What can you do while on the go, in a café, restaurant or in the canteen:

If you book a table at a restaurant, tell them what you intend to eat. This will improve the restaurant’s purchasing accuracy and this significantly reduces food waste. Ask your favorite restaurant booking app to make this a permanent feature of your next restaurant booking. Imagine being a vegetarian and not being able to tell the restaurant not to buy meat for you.

Buffet is a food waste trap – order portion servings (a la carte) instead of a buffet.

Take all you can eat, but eat all you take – if buffet is the only option, it’s a good idea to start with small tastings. The first time you go to the buffet, remember to take small samples on your plate, so the next time you go to the buffet, you know which dishes you prefer to eat.

Use small plates at the buffet and remember to put a bit less on your plate. You are welcome to visit the buffet several times. A plate of smaller size also prevents you from the danger of over-eating.

Ask the waiter about the size of the portion before you get portion servings (a la carte). If you are unsure whether or not you can eat the whole plate, consult with the waiter about the size of the portion serving.

Order two starters instead of a starter and a main course if you are not sure about your appetite. If you are still hungry, you can always order some more.

Ask for a doggy bag if you are unable to finish your food. You have paid for your food, it is your right to take it home – and to reduce food waste.

What can you do to rescue the food:

Become a Food Hero and help donating the good surplus food to food insecure people. Encourage your local supermarket, bakery, food producer, farmer and such to donate their good surplus food to charities.

It starts with you
If you try to follow these simples life hacks, you’ll start saving the food - and end up saving the world.

Stopping your food waste will give you more spare time, improve your personal economy and at the same time make the world a greener place, value the efforts of everyone, who has contributed their time and passion to produce your delicious food.

At the same time you will help feeding more people in the world with our current resources while helping the battle against deforestation, water usage, CO2 emissions - and the list goes on.

We are all food wasters, we are all part of the problem. And fortunately, we are all part of the solution.

mandag den 19. juni 2017

Dansk Handelsblad - Minister, madspild og madglæde på Folkemødet

af Selina Juul, stifter af forbrugerbevægelsen Stop Spild Af Mad

Intet tyder på, at fokus på madspild aftager – og netop i disse dage på Folkemødet er madspild blandt emnerne i hele 15 paneldebatter. De syv af dem er vores organisation medarrangør af og deltager i.

Hvordan kan man lave overproduktion til omproduktion og samtidig sørge for, at dansk gastronomi bliver blandt verdens førende?

Det sætter en af vores paneldebatter skarpt lys på, med medvirkende som bl.a. Carlsbergs bestyrelsesformand Flemming Besenbacher og miljø- og fødevareminister Esben Lunde Larsen, styret af DR P1 Orientering-værten Karen Hjulmand og arrangeret sammen med Danmarks Restauranter & Cafeer (DRC).

For nylig overrakte regeringens advisory board for cirkulær økonomi med Flemming Besen-bacher i spidsen en række anbefalinger til regeringen. Rapporten nævner bl.a., at en intelligent omstilling af det danske samfund fra en lineær til en cirkulær økonomi vil give en årlig gevinst på op mod 45 mia. kr. i 2035.

Udover forskellige tiltag er der også et stor erhvervsøkonomiske potentiale, afslører rapporten. Den anbefaler at skabe bedre rammer for anvendelse af overskydende føde-varer, således at der kan skabes et marked for afsætning af nye produkter, hvor over-skydende fødevarer indgår.

I udlandet hitter “madspildsprodukter” allerede i stor stil: nye typer fødevareprodukter fremstillet af “madspild” – såsom supper, chips, snacks og andet fremstillet af ”grimme” grøntsager og frugt.

En af vores andre paneldebatter, arrangeret sammen med De Samvirkende Købmænd, handler om forbrugere og detailhandlen. Her deltager miljø- og fødevareminister Esben Lunde Larsen i debat med bl.a. indkøbs- og marketingdirektør i Rema 1000, Anders René Jensen.

Forbrugere har genfundet madglæden og har større fokus på madspild: Ifølge seneste tal fra Landbrug & Fødevarer svarer 83 pct., at de var blevet mere interesserede i at minimere husstandens madspild. Kampen mod madspild er blevet en stor konkurrenceparameter hos detailhandlen, hvor udover Rema 1000 også Coop, Lidl, Aldi og Netto har meldt sig under fanerne.

Men hvad med den dag, hvor medierne ikke længere orker at skrive om madspild? Vil det smitte af på forbrugernes holdning?

Bare fordi fokusset på madspild ikke længere er der, vil det ikke være ensbetydende med, at alt madspild i Danmark er forsvundet.

Endelig har vi bl.a. også paneldebat sammen med Europaparlamentet, hvor medlem af parlamentet, Christel Schaldemose, kigger på EUs nye målsætning om at begrænse mad-spild med 50 pct. frem mod 2030 samt indsatsen fra EU’s nye vidensplatform om madspild, EU platform on food losses and food waste, som undertegnede er medlem af.

Men fokus på madspild bliver ikke kun ved snakken. Den nye 100 pct. bionedbrydelige “treat box” (doggybag version 2.0), som vores og flere organisationer er medafsender på, bliver uddelt gratis på Folkemødets spisesteder, så gæsterne kan tage deres madoverskud fra restauranten med i en lille madpakke, når de skal videre og lytte til mødets mange paneldebatter.


onsdag den 15. februar 2017

The Huffington Post - The Fight Against Food Waste Is Becoming Big Business

by Selina Juul, Founder of Stop Wasting Food movement Denmark 

published on The Huffington Post on February 14th 2017 -

Imagine if you can save the world by saving your time and saving your money. While reducing your carbon footprint while helping the food value chain to optimize itself - and even create new green growth. Too good to be true? Well, the fight against food waste nails it. And it’s becoming big business.

New food products made from surplus produce. Mobile apps which help you buy cheap surplus food from restaurant’s buffets. Supermarket offers on cheap food nearing its expiry date. And large marketing campaigns by the retailers and the industry to show off their work to stop wasting food. The fight against food waste is a hot topic - and it’s no longer reserved for the hippie activists.

We are in a great hurry. In just 13 years, the human population’s global food losses and food waste must be reduced by 50%. This deadline is made by the United Nations as a new UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. Fortunately - and despite of Donald Trump - the many green initiatives are growing stronger, in the USA and all across the world. In 2011, the UN FAO launched the global SAVE FOOD initiative - and today the fight against food waste has gained great momentum.

Recently, I was invited to participate in the European Commission’s new EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, a 4 year long network and research project which will focus on helping the world to deliver that goal. On the Platform’s first meeting in Brussels, I addressed that it’s important to take a look at the entire value chain - and especially focus on the prevention.

Prevention versus symptomatic treatment
A food company donating a truckload of surplus cookies which passed its expiry date to a local refugee center creates many good headlines in the media. But if the very same food company creates better forecasting to prevent the overproduction of surplus food to begin with, the media is not interested. Why? Apparently, the symptomatic treatment of food waste is far more sexy than the prevention itself.

As the Minister for Environment and Food of Denmark Mr. Esben Lunde Larsen wrote in one of his opinion editorials: it’s good and important to donate surplus food to charities, but the best case scenario is to reduce the amounts of surplus food to begin with.

We need to take a look at the overproduction of food.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, one third of the world’s produced food is either lost or wasted. Imagine, theoretically, a possibility of massive global green growth, if we put that lost of wasted food into business.

From food waste to big business
Today, a lot of produce never leaves the farms, because the customers have no interest in buying an ugly tomato or a wonky looking cauliflower in the supermarket.

But if the farmer would have a chance to sell his “ugly” surplus produce to a food company, which produces “rescued vegetable soups” and doesn’t really care about the aesthetics of vegetables, it will not only prevent the loss of food, but also give the farmer a new source of income.

The “rescued food” companies are already starting to populate the European market. Although it’s not mainstream yet, new food brands such as like Snact, Misfit Juice, FoPo Food Powder, Rubies in the Rubble, Wonky, Kromkommer, Barstensvol, OverLekker and Spare Fruit are gaining popularity.

The “rescued food” products will also make it easy for the consumers to fight against food losses and waste. The only thing a consumer should do is to buy the product and eat it - every bit. And with the raising awareness on food waste, many food companies can even create a new branding out of it.

The stop wasting food trend is growing all over the world, lately with food waste supermarkets and food waste restaurants. The consumers are soon made ready to buy the “rescued food” products - and it will create a new growing mainstream market.

If we take a look at the food service and catering industry, a lot of “wonky” produce can be put into good use. When you eat your salad, it doesn’t really matter if the vegetables were perfect or odd looking to begin with - it’s all gets chopped and ends in a salad bowl. A local hospital can make a deal with a local farmer to buy the farmer’s “wonky” produce, probably at a reduced price. The farmer cam earn money on the produce which he previously tossed away, the hospital can make delicious meals to its patients and can brand itself by being a green hospital, which supports stop wasting food.

Nothing is rotten in the state of Denmark

In many media coverages all over the world, recently in National Geographic and BBC, Denmark’s has been crowned as the European leading country in the fight against food waste. Within 5 years, Denmark’s national food waste has been reduced by 25%. That’s quite something. That’s a good start.

Many Danish supermarkets are starting to sell good food, which is nearing its expiry date, at reduced prices. That means that supermarkets waste less food and earn money on the food, which otherwise could have been tossed in the bin - and customers can buy food at a reduced price and thus avoid food waste. Many Danish supermarkets brand themselves on these initiatives, labeling them “Save Food” or the “Stop Food Waste” bargains. This trend has become quite popular, and perhaps the international supermarkets should take a closer look at the model for Danish retail industry.

Today, restaurants, especially with buffets, can get the food waste apps such as the Danish Too Good To Go app, counting over one million Danish and international users, which makes it easy for the customers to buy a takeaway box from the restaurant’s buffet at a cheap price. Thus, the restaurant avoids food waste, the customer gets good, cheap restaurant food and the food waste is avoided. Another Danish app, YourLocal, concentrates on the surplus food from the supermarkets, and highlights the good local offers, helping the local supermarkets avoid food waste and earn money on the food, which otherwise would have been wasted. Both apps have recently received substantial financial funding counting several millions of DKK.

Reducing food waste helps food insecure families

Latest surveys show that Danes love the good cheap close-to-be-expired food, and thus our NGO Stop Wasting Food initiated the national SAVE & HELP campaign in collaboration with Danish People’s Aid and the Danish KIWI retail chain.

SAVE & HELP targets to reduce food waste and at the same time helps vulnerable and food insecure families in Denmark. SAVE & HELP campaign is in every KIWI supermarket in Denmark and contains stickers on good food items, which are nearing their expiration date. Every time a customer buys a product with SAVE & HELP sticker, KIWI Denmark donates 1 DKK to the Danish People’s Aid. It allows customers to fight food waste while helping vulnerable and food insecure families in Denmark. The SAVE & HELP campaign gives consumers a good and easy incentive to buy good food nearing its expiration date, while helping supermarkets to reduce food waste while helping the most vulnerable people in Danish society. It’s an easy, tangible and measurable way to make a difference in everyday life on several levels.

In the first month of campaign, the SAVE & HELP already generated 200,000 DKK (28,575 USD) to the Danish People’s Aid’s work - and the campaign is widely popular. Today, every retail chain in Denmark has more or less a food waste reduction strategy - and the fight against food waste has become the retailers’ competition parameter.

The unavoidable food waste

While we really must avoid and reduce food waste at every level, sometimes the food waste in unavoidable. Another annual initiative started by our NGO is the Christmas Surplus, which targets the supermarket’s Christmas surplus food, that they cannot sell after Christmas. Thus, the Stop Wasting Food, Danish People’s Aid and REMA 1000 Denmark retail chain teamed up and with the help of 500+ volunteers collected and delivered free surplus food worth of 4,000,000 DKK (571,505 USD) from 245 REMA 1000 supermarkets to 10,000 food insecure Danes. The charity event attracted a lot of Danish and international attention and the Charity Dinner in November last year hosted by the Minister for Environment and Food of Denmark Mr. Esben Lunde Larsen, Stop Wasting Food and Danish People’s Aid to support the Christmas Surplus was attended by His Royal Highness Prince Joachim of Denmark and Her Royal Highness Princess Marie of Denmark as well as 180 prominent guests. The Charity Dinner fundraised 180,000 DKK (25,717 USD) to help the food insecure families.

It is needless to say, that the focus of food waste has grown so big, that it won’t go away. But just because the industry, retailers, entrepreneurs, politicians, NGO’s and many others have started a global war on food waste, it doesn’t mean that we the consumers are off the hook. We are all in this together - we are all a part of this giant global problem.

And fortunately, we are all a part of the solution.

tirsdag den 31. januar 2017

Dagbladet Information - Vi skaber vores egen omstilling

af Selina Juul, stifter af forbrugerbevægelsen Stop Spild Af Mad

bragt i Dagbladet Information den 1. februar 2017 -

Hver eneste af os kan starte forandringen – og det er nemmere end nogensinde før, da vi alle har mulighederne til at bevæge verden. Vi er selv den forandring, vi ønsker at se i verden – og i stedet for at vente på, at andre handler for os, skal vi handle selv.

For fem år siden troede en del mennesker, mest fra de mere alternative miljøer, fuldt og fast på, at verden ville gå under den 21. december 2012.

Mange af de samme mennesker troede endda på, at der ville ske en stor global begivenhed, som med et trylleslag ville fjerne alle menneskehedens problemer på planeten og redde vores civilisation. Det skete ikke, og vi sidder i den samme status quo suppedas, som vi altid har gjort.

Men i virkeligheden handlede den 21. december 2012 for disse mennesker om eskapisme – om troen på, at en eller anden højere magt ville komme og redde os fra alle vores problemer. Med andre ord, ansvarsfritagelse.

Præcis som nu, hvor mange grønne ildsjæle og klimaaktivister jorden over er rædselsslagne over USA’s nye præsident og grædefærdige over, at USA’s afgående præsident ikke længere kan være dén storebror og verdens og klimaets forkæmper, som verden har brug for.

Men egentlig er det utroligt, at så mange mennesker over hele kloden sætter deres lid til, at ét menneske kan enten redde eller destruere næsten 7,5 mia. menneskers fremtid.

Har vi virkelig opgivet troen på, at vi selv kan forandre vores verden? Skal vi virkelig vente på, at nogle få individer kommer og redder vores fremtid – eller ødelægger den? Har vi mistet troen på os selv?

Faktisk er vi mere magtfulde, end vi nogensinde har været.

Hver eneste af os kan starte en facebookside eller en YouTube-kanal og med det rigtige budskab måske tiltrække hundredetusindvis af følgere – både i Danmark og over hele kloden.

Det er blevet nemmere end nogensinde at skabe kontakt med omverdenen – både i Danmark og i udlandet – og komme i kontakt med eksempelvis grønne organisationer og grønne ildsjæle. For når man løber alene, kan man løbe stærkt – når man løber sammen, kan man løbe langt.

I verden i dag er det dem, der råber højst, der bliver hørt. I en verden, hvor hver eneste like tæller, skal du sørge for at få så mange som muligt. I en verden, hvor hver eneste følger kan omsættes til stemmer, skal du have så mange følgere på sociale medier som muligt. I en verden, hvor populisme og snæversyn sætter dagsorden, skal du have alle facts på plads for at frembringe de mest intelligente argumenter.

Giv ikke op
Vores allerstørste fjende er frygten i os selv – frygten for, at vi ikke er gode nok.

Men det er blot en begrænsende overbevisning, som handlingslammer os – vores egen skæve vrangsforestilling, at vi ikke er gode nok til selv at skabe den gode fremtid, vi fortjener.

For der vil altid være nogle, som vil stoppe den grønne omstilling. Som vil hade og bagtale. Som vil gøre alt for at bremse og nedgøre. Men det er kun på grund af vores egen begrænsende overbevisning, at vi lader os at gå på af disse små sten på vejen.

For det overordnede mål er at skabe den grønne omstilling, som kan bringe vores natur, ressourcer og dermed civilisation tilbage i balance. Og vi er godt på vej, med både vedvarende energi, cirkulær økonomi og mange flere gode bevægelser og tiltag. Det er en god begyndelse.

Og så skal man aldrig, aldrig give op.

J.K. Rowling fik afslag fra de første 12 forlag på sine Harry Potter-bøger, inden hun slog igennem og blev en verdenskendt forfatter. Walt Disney fik 302 afslag, indtil han omsider fik støtte til at skabe Disney World. Stephen King fik 30 afslag på sin første bog, inden han brød igennem som verdenskendt forfatter med flere end 350 mio. solgte bøger på verdensplan.

De mennesker gav aldrig op. Disse mennesker troede på deres drømme og førte dem ud i livet.

Og det kan du også.