Norma Jeane, Workshop_25 Methodology of squandering , 2012, Torino PAV Courtesy






Usually, flaws depend on others. For food waste, it works the same way: we hear about it and seems such a bad thing, but after a brief examination of our habits we say that yes, maybe, sometimes, we waste a little bit more than necessary, but fart e little anyway. In the end, we can be quite virtuous. Summarizing: the others are wasteful, the trash bin of the neighbour is always more voluminous.

Beware, however, this way of seeing things is often illusory deceptive. A bit like those people saying 'I only drink a little bit, like everybody else', while in reality what with a wine, a beer, an Irish coffee, a brandy to aid digestion, and who knows what else, they are on their way to alcoholism.

The same applies to waste: if we are all so virtuous, who is throwing away 1.3 billion tons of perfectly edible food every year?

A serious self-examination of conscience must be done immediately. To facilitate this A Good Opportunity proposes here a simple test. Only ten questions: if you answer in the affirmative to all them you are more or less a saint, a true ‘food saving’ defender. If you answer yes to more than five questions it means that, although you could do better, you are a person careful enough not to waste. If you answer yes to less than five questions you are on the slippery slope, you have entered the vast family of food wasters. Finally, if you do not answer in the affirmative to any of the ten questions, well, you're truly an inveterate waster...






Do you waste?*

  1. Do you regularly make the shopping list?

  2. When cooking, are you wary of overdoing the quantities?

  3. In the refrigerator, put in front the products close to expiry and behind those just purchased?

  4. Always put the in the freezer foods that most likely you won’t be able to eat soon?


    Know and follow recipes whose ingredients are leftovers and food scraps? Buy preferably fresh, seasonal products?


  6. If you have food  which is near to go bad and you think you can not consume it, you give a little to neighbours or arrange  to consume it during a convivial occasion? 

  7. At the restaurant, you take away the leftovers with the doggy bag?

  8. Use your nose, your eyes, your tongue, to make sure that foods expiring or expired are effectively  gone bad?  

  9. Can you distinguish between “use-by date” and 'best before' captions?


So, how did it go? Please note that if you answered yes to less than five questions you should submit to a rehabilitative therapy... In what does it consist? Simple: in doing exactly all the things you said in the test not to do! 



This test was prompted by the one appeared in the article 'Building a new food system', by Elisa Bianco, in the publication Against Waste, edited by the Barilla Centre for Food & Nutrition.

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