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Waste Not, Want Not

Much of the the food that ends up in our trash is actually far too good for the bin. This includes the 2,310,000,000 kg of food – a third of all food produced – that is thrown away annually in Switzerland.

What can you do?

  • Eat regional, seasonal, and where possible unprocessed foods. That way, you can be sure as little residual waste as possible is generated.
  • Buy only the quantity needed. Plan your meals ahead of time.
  • Purchase produce in bulk. For example, Coop offers a customer sign-up plan for fruit and vegetable baskets, or buy from farmers direct.
  • Trust your senses:  foods are generally still safe to consume past their best before date – at most they suffer some loss in taste, appearance or nutrients.  A quick sniff will tell you with certainty whether the food is still edible.  According to the Cantonal Laboratory in Zurich, food should no longer be consumed just until the expiry date.
  • Extend the shelf life of fresh foods by optimal storage and cooling. There are many useful tips on the Utopia website regarding perfect storage without a refrigerator.
  • Transform leftover foods by using them in tasty recipes. You can find inspiration in the recipe collection of “Too Good for the Bin”.

Additional Information

Food waste starts with misshapen or ‘ugly’ vegetables and fruits in the orchard that don’t conform to “norms,” to remnants from processing / food losses in transport, to the biggest wasters: private households. Households throw away nine times more food than retailers. And this means you too can prevent excessive food waste. Reducing wasted foods not only has a positive impact on your wallet, but also on our environment.


In Switzerland, according to the site foodwaste.ch, along with disposed foods, the equivalent of the following has been wasted:

  • An area of quality, arable land 15 times the size of Lake Lucerne.
  • Enough water to fill six bathtubs – per person per day.
  • A lot of unnecessary CO2 – more than a third of what our cars emit each year.

Further information and tips covering food waste and food rescue can be found on the websites Foodwaste, Federal Office for the Environment or Food Sharing.

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