Why is so much bread thrown away?

In western countries, where a multitude of people live in abundance, food waste cannot be denied. Quite the opposite: huge amounts of food, some of which are still edible, are thrown away. Bread and baked goods are some of the most common foods that land in the trash.

But what are the causes of this excessive loss of bread and pastries? Why is so much bread thrown away?

One possible answer that immediately comes to mind is the high demands of consumers. The fact that a wide variety of bread and baked goods is offered and that these should have been prepared first has apparently already become normal. Rolls that are actually only a few hours old are often no longer considered fresh.

Many bakeries offer their entire range until the evening. The reason? Probably the enormous expectations on the part of consumers

Contract bakeries also do their part to ensure that there is often an excess of bread and pastries. “[…] Contract bakeries that have bakery shops in their checkout areas of supermarkets and discounters,[sind] often obliged […] to show a high level of goods until shortly before closing time. “ [1] And what is left over at the end of the day goes back (= return rate).

But does it really have to be? Does the full range of bread and other baked goods have to be offered until late in the evening?

It is clear that food waste cannot be completely avoided, especially in rich western countries. Still, there are more and more options for what to do with leftover food. Unsold bread and baked goods can be reused or redistributed [2] . But a rethink is also necessary on the part of consumers. “A rethinking process that is urgently needed for ethical, social and ecological and ultimately also economic reasons.” [3]





[1] https://www.wwf.de/fileadmin/fm-wwf/Publikationen-PDF/WWF-Studie-Unser-taeglich-Brot_Von-ueberschuessigen-Brotkanten-und-wachsenden-Brotbergen_102018.pdf , P. 15

[2] If you would like to have a contribution to what can be done with unsold bread, please let us know in a comment.

[3] https://www.wwf.de/fileadmin/fm-wwf/Publikationen-PDF/WWF-Studie-Unser-taeglich-Brot_Von-ueberschuessigen-Brotkanten-und-wachsenden-Brotbergen_102018.pdf , P. 23

That was: Why is so much bread thrown away?

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