It is the dream of many to take a journey across Europe, especially if you could receive free local food along the way. This dream is a reality for Baptiste Dubanchet, a 25 year old man from France but the situation is not as ideal as you might expect. All of Dubanchet’s nourishment throughout his entire 3,000 kilometer trip was found in dumpsters.
The Frenchman trusted in finding food that would normally be disposed and helped bring attention to the issue of food waste going on around the world. A major motivating factor for Dubanchet’s trip was the people that are currently starving as good food goes to waste but he did not want to be one of them.
Starting his trek in Paris, the Food Waste Activist went through a variety of countries before ending in Warsaw, Poland. To add an additional environmental edge to the project, Debanchet traveled completely by bicycle. This ultimately limited the amount of food that he was able to carry with him, so he relied heavily on the wastefulness each and every stop.
“I really didn’t think we were wasting as much as we are,” said Debanchet. “Even when you know about it, it’s still surprising to open a garbage can and find so many potatoes, so much fruit, yogurt, sometimes 500-liter or 1000-liter bins are filled with things that are still good enough to eat.”
When Debanchet made his way into a new city, he would first check out the local supermarkets to see if he could be given some food that is planned to be thrown out. However only about 10% of all the supermarkets from entire trip gave him food. Many of the supermarkets across Europe do not give out food even if its going to be thrown away. They believe that the food is unfit for human consumption, which Debanchet was able to disprove.
Many of the European dumpsters that contain unwanted food are heavily secured behind locks and barbed wire fences. Unfortunately, food waste is negatively associated with homeless people, but either way the hungry do not have access to much needed food. So there is definitely some opportunity to make things better.
Debanchet’s journey was really a simple civil protest, but positive changes are already being made. With over 842 million people in the world currently not having enough to eat, the European Parliament declared 2014 the European Year Against Food Waste. Hopefully this is just the start of more usable food headed for hungry mouths.
Although Budget Dumpster is in the business of removing waste, we make every extra effort to minimize the disposal of unwanted materials that could benefit those in need. If any of your materials that you plan on throwing away could help other please make the appropriate arrangements rather than tossing it in the dumpster. Budget Dumpster can always be used a resource to properly remove any unwanted materials.