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It's Now Illegal in France for Grocery Stores to Throw Away Edible Food

Millions of tons of perfectly edible food are put in our landfills every year.

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More than a third of the food produced in the world goes uneaten. France is trying to change that, according to Le Monde, and passed a sweeping bill through the National Assembly last Thursday that would require food retailers to donate edible, unused food to charity or facilities that process it into animal feed or compost.

The bill was sponsored by politician Guillaume Garot, who was scandalized "to see bleach being poured into supermarket dustbins along with edible foods."

The move was applauded by environmental and food organizations, who hope to see the law implemented in other parts of the world. The United States is one of the worst offenders with regard to food waste: food makes up the plurality of Americans' garbage, piling up approximately 35 million tons per year.

The most troubling aspect of the amount of food waste is how much it's increased in recent years: Americans are tossing out 20 percent more food than they threw away in 2000, and 50 percent more than they discarded in 1990.

In some countries, like the U.K., people have been arrested for dumpster diving and attempting to take food that has been discarded by supermarkets. In protest, one chef in Bristol, England started a pop-up restaurant serving food made exclusively from edible, discarded food.