The Food Battle in Wageningen is being waged by 212 households. Seven Food Battles are going on in the Netherlands simultaneously. Combatants keep track of how much food they throw out.
‘In my student house we’ve become more aware of how we treat food now we are entering the Food battle,’ says Anne Walther, student of Molecular Life Sciences. ‘Last week we threw out nearly a kilo of fruit and vegetables. I think that is a bit less than normal, because we always have a lot of fruit and veg in the house and we often have to throw something out.’ Anne and her three housemates never threw an awful lot of food out. Yet they still notice that less is being binned now. ‘We keep an eye on what needs eating first, we shop more smartly and we think up creative recipes for using up yesterday’s leftovers,’ she explains.
In the coming weeks she expects there to be even less wastage. ‘Because at the start of the Food Battle we emptied the fridge.’ The half an onion, slice of lemon and bruised mango were weighed before they were binned, in line with the Food Battle rules. Everything edible that goes into the bin is recorded in a notebook. ‘That makes you very conscious of your behaviour,’ says Anne. This in itself helps cut down waste. Participants in the battle are also given tips about how to cut down on waste. Previous Food Battles led to a 30 percent reduction in food wastage among participants. It is not known how many student houses are entering the Food Battle in Wageningen. We only know that 212 households have signed up, but there is no data on the size of the households or the proportion of them housing staff or students of Wageningen UR. The battle ends on 5 April. The organizers hope to publish their initial results mid-may.