Organisatie - 5 februari 2009


This letter is a response to the article describing a student ‘skipping’, which displays no sensitivity to any of the important issues associated with this activity.
Skippers are not always opportunists, looking for some free food in the night just because it is economical. There are a lot of social and environmental repercussions related to saving food. ‘Urban foraging’ is a practice that tries to recover food from the garbage that is still edible, although past its use-by date. It is based on the realization that all the energy, human labour, resources, and knowledge used to produce this food is just trashed with it. For instance, in the UK 30 to 40 percent of the food produced is thrown out (The Independent). It is similar in other European countries, and food waste is a major contributor to greenhouse gases (37 percent of CH4 in Europe) (Adhikari BK et al 2006).
Moreover, ‘skipping’ is driven by the awareness that the education we get as food technologists, agronomists etc. is shamelessly thrown in the garbage containers. It is a ‘low intensity’ lifestyle, non-supportive of a society that relentlessly produces, consumes and throws away ‘stuff’ with little respect to the environment and other living beings.
At the same time, most skippers eat ethically: they buy seasonal, organic food from small local businesses free of meat and animal products, while they minimize their waste. Skipping is extended to all valuable objects that have been thrown out but can be used in a creative way (like trash art etc).