Assignment #1 Week of May 25

Dear Division 16,

The French parliament recently passed a new law that makes it illegal for large supermarkets to throw away edible food.  Please read one of the articles here (the second one is a more challenging read and gives more detail)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/05/22/france-is-making-it-illegal-for-supermarkets-to-throw-away-edible-food/

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/22/france-to-force-big-supermarkets-to-give-away-unsold-food-to-charity

After you have read the article or articles, please imagine that you are in charge of bringing a similar law to Canada.  For your post, please identify ONE thing you would do differently than the French parliament, if you were in charge of a similar law here in Canada.  Explain your reasons why. If possible, please refer to some information you read in the article that helped you draw your conclusion.

I look forward to your responses!

29 comments

  1. coolschoolscout

    I agree that throwing away good food is bad, and donating to charity was a great idea. If I could do something differently, I would let the food companies automatically give extra food to charity, because you shouldn’t have to wait for extra food to spoil. If I could pass a law in Canada, the law would be to make sure nobody in the markets don’t throw food away, and maybe create buildings where anyone who needs a meal can get some food too!

    • dickensdiv16

      Coolschoolscout, what do you think is an appropriate amount of time for supermarkets to wait before donating food? I agree, the food that is being donated shouldn’t be spoiled, but how long should they wait?

      • coolschoolscout

        I think that waiting for unsold food to spoil isn’t acceptable, so I think maybe 2 days after the food was put on display, so the stores know that people don’t want to buy that food and they can donate it. Perhaps instead of keeping the food out overnight, each store could have a huge super-fridge that keeps all products from spoiling.

  2. who gets money

    I would make the fine a little bit lower than the max penalty of 82,000, because the supermarkets might put food that had completely gone bad just because they don’t want the fine. This would perhaps poison people, or their livestock. If the point of this law is to ensure that food isn’t wasted, then we should also offer an award, or a tax break, for the items that Supermarkets give to charities. This way, their actions can be rewarded rather than just punished. I would do this so that the supermarkets would be more likely to go along with the law.

    • dickensdiv16

      Great point, who gets money, you want a fine to be an incentive, not to encourage bad behaviour in order to avoid the fine. The idea of an incentive is an interesting one. How would that work?

  3. Mario02

    I think that if i was the person in charge of making a new law about this i would make a max fine of $85,000 or jail time for 1 and a half year. Food should not be wasted we should be grateful that we even have food and water. The main reasons for the food waste and why restaurants and shops are throwing the food out is because if they want to give it to homeless people its not that easy. You cant just give it to a homeless person like here you go one for you and one for you too. They have to Issue licences and lots of agreements with the law. It costs a lot of money you cant just go and out and give it. 2nd of all they would have to pay there employees to go give it out its too much work. If they just throw it out then its very easy for them they will not lose money like if they had to issue licences to sell it and pay their employees to give out food.

    • dickensdiv16

      You’re right, Mario02, donating food comes with certain responsibilities. Do you think that supermarkets should pay for any extra costs to donate the food or should it be someone else?

  4. Scarletcat

    I think that if I was in charge of modifying the french supermarket rule for Canada I would make it so that when they are giving the food to charities it has to have at least 5 days left on that food before it goes bad. That way French supermarkets aren’t just giving away moldy old food to avoid the fines of not donating food. I understand that this rule is to reduce food waste and to feed charities, in the article they said that charities are really desperate for food. In order to do the second step of this rule the food donated has to be edible, ripe and enough to support a healthy diet for the people recieveing food from the charities.

      • fireboltseer21345

        sometimes with expiration dates that’s until it’s not edible instead of when it doesn’t taste good. 🙂 ❤

  5. Cool Sketcher

    I would make a law thats practically the same except we would be allowed to only throw away 1 pound of food a year because if we feed our pets/farm animals they will get too obese and also the fine wouldn’t be too big because 87,000 is huge and my fine idea would be more like 500

  6. PointyHedgeHog11

    If I could modify this law far Canada ,I would make it so different kinds of food would be treated differently .
    Things like milk and cheese go bad quickly, but things like vegetables and fruit take longer to go bad .
    We also don’t want companies keeping food on the shelves that has really gone bad .
    I think this is a great law and could a lot of positive influences on the world .

  7. vid3o g@m3r

    I believe that this law has a good point, although some of the foods that were thrown out have a reason to be in the garbage( example: mouldy food, bugs in food, etc.) If I could make a law, i would make one saying that if you throw out some food that isn’t bad, for example, an apple that is a bit mushy, you cannot throw that out. The reason is that you could still cut the mushy bit of the apple off, and then you have a perfectly edible apple! Some people throw food out because of a very small problem, but they don’t realise that those problems can be solved easily, like with the apple!

    • dickensdiv16

      Ah, vid3o g@m3r, I see you are putting concepts of equity together with conservation. And yes, some food will still need to be thrown out, even under this new law.

  8. ginger

    I think that this new law in France will really help to reduce waste and help keep more people with full stomachs. It is shocking that American’s (and likely Canadians, too) throw out more food items than plastics, papers and glass combined. If I had the chance to create a new law, it would be that not only would the food be donated in the neighbourhoods near the market, but a portion of it would also be sent around the world to less fortunate countries. If the supermarkets donated 50% (or the perishable foods) of the leftover food to charities in the area, like the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, the other 50% (non-perishable) could be shipped away to developing countries. I think that this would help spread out the wealth from developed countries more evenly. It would also help the less fortunate countries thrive. This law would give them a head start toward helping their people.

    • dickensdiv16

      Interesting and unique approach, ginger! I think the idea that we, as wealthy countries are responsible for ensuring support for the citizens of the world is an important one. Would the shipping costs for food be carried by the supermarkets? Do you think the delay for transport of food that may already be past its shelf date could be problematic?

  9. balloongirl123

    I think in an effort to curb food waste, which accounts for roughly one third of all food produced worldwide, France is making it illegal for supermarkets to throw away any food that is considered edible.The European country’s parliament voted unanimously for the new law, which will force grocers to either donate or make sure that it is used as animal feed

  10. fireboltseer21345

    I think this new law in France is good and that it will really help France to have a better environment and it will help the inhabitants feel healthier. If I were to bring this law to Canada I think that the store could make a decision themselves where the food would go. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

  11. THE_MOST_AWESOME_PERSON3710

    If I we’re to changes the law for Canada I would let my workers take first from the bin then I would give it away to charity. I would do that because in the second article they said that a man was taking from the bin to feed his children because his job did not pay a lot of money and that seems like that it might happen here in Canada.

  12. petrinied4000

    I think that if I would change the french law, I would make it so that the less popular food items would go to charity and the rotten food would be thrown out. I don’t think it would be good to say supermarkets can’t through out ANY food. If the supermarkets don’t want the food, it is most likely because the food has gone bad and I don’t think it is safe to give bad food to charity. People might get sick. I would also lower the fine like who gets money did.

  13. reader

    being a supermarket owner must be hard especially if France made a new law, this is my opinion.
    I think it’s an unsafe law because if they give unwanted food to charities and they give the food to the people who need it most, the people might get sick from soiled food or moldy food.

  14. cheese curds

    i would change the law so that good food isint thrown away but it is stored in a place like a fridge. if thare was to much food i would give some of it to animals but not the food thats gon bad but of course at some point there would be bad food and when that happens i would compost it

  15. Jr.fruitcake

    I agree with the French government, it is not good to go and throw away food.
    If I could add something it might be to use a new waste system, there could be a number of bins, one for fully spoiled food one for other garbage and one for the people to find unspoiled food and supplies in. That may seem less fair but I think it would mean that it could be common place from there on to see someone looking for unspoiled food and it would not restrict the food to specific charities. After all I think that it is a very good goal to halve the food waste the French create and I can’t imagine we are all that much better.

  16. Theawesomest

    I agree that you shouldnt throw away food but I don’t know how they are going to make sure that people dont throw away edible food because I am pretty sure that no one is going to search through the garbage cans to find edible food. Something that I would change is that there would be a security system in the garbage cans to make sure no food got in the garbage. This idea may be unrealistic but I think it would be cool to make technology like this

  17. balloongirl123

    I think that that throwing good food is just bad because if you eat something and you just want to throw away that just a waste because if you don’t have food that means that you might starving.

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