More than 80% of Romanians throw away food, and fruits, vegetables, and bread are the top items being wasted, according to a survey released by the Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Faculty (USAMV) in Cluj-Napoca, according to Romania-Insider.com.
USAMV Cluj-Napoca conducted the survey alongside the University of Craiova, the Technical University of Moldova, and the Sainte Cyrille et Method University in Skopje, alongside Food Waste Combat, an NGO working to raise awareness and reduce food waste. The survey was conducted online, among 2,754 participants, between June and September of this year, in Romania, the Republic of Moldova, and Macedonia. It was part of the “Zéro Gaspillage – pour une production et une consommation responsables en ECO” project, financed by the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie en Europe Centrale et Orientale.
In Romania, 83% of the respondents said they throw away food; in Moldova, 78.7% said the same, while in Macedonia, the percentage was of 67.2%.
The respondents to the survey also pointed to individual consumers and restaurants as the main actors responsible for food waste, while farmers and small retailers were considered the least responsible for this phenomenon.
“The subject of food waste generates a lot of interest for many respondents, and Romanian consumers are the ones that declare themselves interested in the topic in high numbers (some 60%). We can see a contradiction between ‘interest’ and ‘actual behavior,’ showing people’s insufficient education on sustainable consumption behavior. Fruits, vegetables, and bread are the items people waste most, and the reasons for this are the expiry date and the fact that they have gone bad,” professor Cristina Pocol, the coordinator of the USAMV Cluj-Napoca research team, explained.