If there's one -- just one -- bad thing about food, it's the fact that literal tons of it go to waste all over the world. While Americans throw away an estimated 40% of their food every year, France has taken a huge new step to reduce food waste, becoming the first country in the world to require supermarkets to donate unsold food to charity.
Under the law, large grocery stores are no longer allowed to throw away or destroy perfectly good food that might go unsold based on its "best by" date, which means they'll have to donate it to local food banks or other charities, according to a report by The Guardian. Specifically, the law requires all supermarkets over 4,304sqft to have a contract with nonprofit organizations or food banks, which in turn are required to pick up the food and redistribute it via their services. So, instead of rotting in a damn dumpster, the food will be used to make millions of vital meals for the country's needy.
And if you're wondering why France is the only country to have enacted such a common-sense method of dealing with food waste, you're not alone. Advocates and a grassroots campaign hope to expand the law all across the European Union, per the report. The European Commission itself estimates that about a staggering one third of all food -- more than 1.4 billion tons -- produced by humans globally is wasted or lost every year. At the very least, that should make us all more conscious about our own eating and shopping habits. After all, the world was not blessed with pizza for it to be so carelessly thrown away.
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and hopes this happens in the US someday soon. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.