Selina Juul and her campaign against food waste

Mar 13, 2017 | written by:

Every year in the world 1,3 billion tonnes of food end up in the garbage without reaching the consumer's table, an amount equal to about one third of the total production. According to the FAO, the food that we throw away every year would be enough to feed nearly 800 million people in the world who live in conditions of malnutrition. Fortunately, however, there are countries that are reaching important targets in the fight against food waste.

In Denmark, indeed, Selina Juul, 37-year-old Russian media operator and graphic designer, has launched the project 'Stop Spild Af Mad' (translated from the Danish 'Stop wasting food'), a campaign that encourages consumers and supermarkets not to buy too big packs, not to buy too much food and, in general, it encourages to reduce the food waste.

But what is the story behind this ambitious project? Selina is a young woman who moved from Russia to Denmark when she was 13 years old. In her childhood memory there was the vivid images of empty grocery stores, the dramatic food shortages of the post-Communist state and, when she arrived in a new country and she found supermarkets where there is always everything, with food overflowing from the shelves and with people wasting more than necessary, she was shocked. So Selina decided to do something and in July 2008 the project 'Stop Spild Af Mad' was born and, thanks to the power of the media, it spread quickly around the world.

“The Danish government, FAO and the United Nations support me and help me and the supermarkets have decided to support the project by ceasing to sell too large packages of food that risk to be wasted. In five years, food waste in Denmark decreased by 25% - Selina says - Reducing waste in rich countries helps to save lives in poor countries. The next initiative is to invite customers to buy foods close to the expiry date, at normal price or discounted, to save them from the garbage. Who buys these products knows that part of the money will be used to help poor countries and, thanks to this project, we have already collected, in a single month, 28.000 Euros”. 

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