I am currently in Denmark, where food waste reduction is high on the agenda. Organisations such as Stop Spild af Mad are frontrunners in the fight against food waste. However I was in a Danish supermarket and had both a very positive and a slightly confusing experience with bread.
We were in the supermarket relatively late (23:00). Here we found a whole bin filled to the brim with freshly baked buns from the day. This was quite a confusing sight, especially when you realise that these buns had been made on the day and were still fresh. The whole scenario was made even more confusing by the fact that just opposite from this bin, were two shelves of reduced rye bread. The rye bread was about to go off and had therefore been reduced. A clear indicator that the supermarket is aware of and active in reducing its food waste.
Biogas and Rye Bread
Having done some digging around, I’ve come to the conclusion that the bin full of bread was to become biogas. This is a strategy that Danske Supermarkeder (the people behind this particular supermarket) have put in place. They are using this to reduce the amount of waste they send to landfill. This is a good thing as the food isn’t going completely to waste. However considering how much bread was in that bin, it seems weird that they either didn’t reduce the amount they baked OR reduced the price of it towards the evening. If there had been the option to buy a packet, I probably would have done. Something that would have made the supermarket more money as well.
I definitely think that making food into biogas is a better option than simply putting it to landfill. There are probably a few things however they could have tried before putting it into the bin. Food shouldn’t be produced to then be turned into energy (other than for humans and animals). That is an utter waste of resource as so much has gone into the production of an edible product.
The good news from the day was that we got some great bargains on rye bread and actually ended up buying 5 packets for 8 DKK (about £0.90) instead of the 60 DKK (about £6.80) it should have cost. Being aware of these bargain corners in your local supermarket, can save you a lot of money. Rye bread is also pretty easy as it comes pre-sliced, so it’s easy to pop it in the freezer and then warm up a slice in the toaster when you need one.