Ideas to avoid wasting fruit – and pick some for free – in France

As apple season approaches in France, a range of new initiatives have emerged to help you get the most out of the fruit (and avoid wasting it if you have trees in your garden).

Make your own juice

If you have too many apples in your garden, a service called Mouvipress can help. It is a “mobile pressing van”, which organizes tours of different regions of France from September to December.

He shares his planned locations and invites people to bring apples every day to make juice. The van presses and pasteurizes the juice on site, for €1 per litre.

Reservation slots are available to book onlineand you can also see an interactive map of upcoming online locations.

Take action against food waste

A growing number of services are now working with consumers to tackle food waste, including collecting excess food and preparing baskets of produce that would otherwise be thrown away.

Image: WeArePhenix.com

Phenix is ​​one such service. His smart phone app allows consumers to buy discounted items that would otherwise be thrown away, and shows nearby food stores, grocery stores and supermarkets that offer food at discounted prices.

It also brings together local supermarkets and food stores with hotels, restaurants, grocers and producers, to create a network of food suppliers and users with the aim of minimizing the amount of food thrown away and wasted.

Consumers can also sign up for Phenix newsletter updates, for more tips on how to waste less food.

Image: TooGoodToGo.fr

Another similar app is Too good to leave.

Adoption of these apps is relatively common in France, with a recent YouGov survey revealing that almost two in five people (38%) use an “anti-waste” app. Too Good To Go, in particular, is used by 12.5 million consumers.

However, a recent survey revealed that the French waste an average of €67 per month on food that they throw away later, and that 26-50% of the food they buy ends up in the trash.

Supermarkets are starting to realize this more and some have recently launched anti-waste measures, such as ways to buy ‘imperfect and ugly’ fresh produce at reduced prices.

Another initiative is to remove “best before” dates for products that are safe to consume after that date (unlike “best before” dates, which generally indicate the last date an item can be safely consumed). security).

Read more: Organize your fridge, know the labels: advice from French experts to save food

Pick up unwanted fruit

Another solution is to collect unwanted fruits from other places, to prevent them from rotting on the ground. This is called ‘gleaning’ or ‘glaner’ in French (‘glaner’ in English).

It is a traditional activity that has its own rules and customs.

In 2016, says the minister of agriculture: “Gleaning is an ancestral right which can only be exercised on the land of others after the collection of the harvest.

“Tolerated during the day and without tools, gleaning differs from three other practices: raiding (stealing grown fruits and vegetables when not detached), grabbing (recovery after the harvest of what remains on the fruit trees or the vines and which could constitute a second harvest), and raking (using tools such as a rake to harvest).

Quite simply, gleaning amounts to picking up only fruit waste, already fallen on the ground, which is not part of the wider harvest, and which can be done without tools, by day only.

It is prohibited on fenced land. Most farmers understand the rules and have some tolerance for this practice.

However, although not legally required, it is recommended to ask the farmer or landowner before starting – not only to be polite, but also to check that the harvest is complete and that no tools, machines or another dangerous system does not work yet. on the ground.

Image: FallingFruit.org

A global map on FallingFruit.org website aims to show where fruit can be harvested and where there are fruit trees in the public domain.

These include fields, farms, wild trees and roadsides. People can leave reviews of locations, and the map also aims to show real-time updates on the quantity and quality of fruit available. Some locations even show public bins that regularly contain large amounts of fruit waste.

There are more than 27,000 marked places in France alone.

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