France Is Trying To Make It Illegal For Grocery Stores To Waste Food

From Higher Perspective, May 25, 2015

Tonight, about 805 million people will go to bed hungry. That number has dropped significantly over the last two decades, but still, 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty. 2.6 million children die every year from hunger related causes. But do you know what makes it so much worse?

About a third of all of the food produced worldwide is thrown away every year.

Some grocers are so intent on making sure foragers can’t get to the food they throw away that they lock their dumpsters and some even douse their discarded food in bleach to make sure no one can eat it. Seriously.

On Thursday, France decided to strike back at this waste of food. France’s National Assembly unanimously passed a new measure that would require any supermarket larger than 400 square feet to donate all unsold food to charity, for animal feed or for compost. They also rendered it illegal for grocers to deliberately ruin food.

As The Guardian reports:

“It’s scandalous to see bleach being poured into supermarket dustbins along with edible foods,” said Guillaume Garot, the Socialist deputy who sponsored the bill.

Any supermarket that doesn’t conform to the new regulations could face fines up to $75,000 and managers could face two years in jail. Talk about a no nonsense mandate!

This measure aims to cut France’s food waste in half by the middle of the next decade. The lower house of Parliament will vote on the bill next week, and then it’s off to the Senate.


  1. Grocery stores are not the only big wasters of foods , here in the US the famous Starbucks throw away everyday perfectly good food right into the garbage. We could of been fired if we were found taking food out of the garbage at night with expired dates on them. We asked if we could donate them to the food bank but no they might be sued if someone got sick. This was perfectly good sandwiches and sometimes pastry.. We as a Nation need to start a gleaning co-op of some sort. Thanks for your Article.


  2. Governments don’t care about people living in extreme poverty. The more there are people fully dependent from the state, the stronger the police state is. This particular law in France only looks good, but it’s the supermarkets and the big argobusiness that are the winners here. There are lots of small local shops in rural France that sell the products of small local farmers. It’s an almost non-profit trade, so, to survive, these shops are also reselling the food products from the supermarkets that otherwise would be wasted. The new law will make this business impossible; all these small local shops will close and their clients will have to buy everything in the supermarkets. The small local farms will also close very quickly – their production costs are much higher than those of the industrial food producers. This is the other side and the true goal of this good-looking law.


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