Denmark is one of the richest countries in the world, with a GDP per capita of $56,307.51 in 2017. It is also ranked one of the most food secure nations worldwide, according to the Global Food Security Index. Here are the top 10 facts about hunger in Denmark.
Top 10 Facts About Hunger in Denmark
- The first of the top 10 facts about hunger in Denmark is that the country only wastes around 700,000 tonnes of food per year. The U.S., on the other hand, wastes 150,000 tonnes of food each day. This is equivalent to about a pound of food per person each day. Thus, on a global scale, Denmark is very sustainable which helps prevent widespread hunger in the country, as a significant portion of food that is not consumed is donated to food initiatives.
- Denmark has more initiatives against food waste in Europe than any other country — from awareness campaigns, partnerships to government subsidies. This is due in large part to a lobbying group set up by Selina Juul, called Stop Spilf Af Mad which translates to “stop wasting food”. The campaign was inspired by Juul’s experience growing up in Moscow, where she frequently experienced food shortages and bread lines which made her appalled to see food wastage in Denmark.
- Denmark is classified as a “strong country” in terms of food security by the Global Food Security Index, receiving a score of 80.9 out of a possible 100 for 2018. The country scored 100 points out of 100 for the presence of food safety net programs and 100 out of 100 for nutritional standards.
- Another one of the top 10 facts about hunger in Denmark is that WeFood, a Danish charity, opened the world’s first food waste supermarket in a low-income neighborhood in Copenhagen in 2016. It sells food at prices 30 to 50 percent less than an ordinary supermarket and was so popular that a second store in the more upscale area of Nørrebro. The project attracts both eco-conscious and cash-strapped shoppers on a limited budget.
- Denmark recently announced a plan to double the amount of organic farmland by 2020 and earmarked approximately $60 million to initiate the effort to increase organic food production and supply. The country’s minister of agriculture is also committed to boosting the amount of organic food served in public institutions while the Ministry of Defense has also pledged to reciprocate this action at its bases.
- A study done by the London School of Economics found that the impact of rising unemployment and decreasing wages were countered by social protection spending. For every additional $1,000 spent on social protection, the impact that rising unemployment had on food security fell by 0.05 percent. When social protection spending is above $10,000 per capita as found in countries such as Denmark, the effects of unemployment and wage deflation become less significant.
- There is a 0 percent prevalence rate of moderate to severe stunting in Denmark and the proportion of households consuming iodized salt also stands at 0 percent.
- One of the reasons that Denmark is so food secure is because it can produce an excess of agricultural resources such as crops, forestry and fisheries. This allows the country to stock its food banks and stockpiles of food which allows it to be self-reliant and not dependent on international organizations for aid.
- Danish citizens also have access to a multitude of welfare services which consolidate their food security. The VAT system funds the welfare system. This welfare system is known as the ADRA, where the organization emphasizes the policy importance of increasing food supply, incomes and savings for food purchasing.
- The last of the top 10 facts about hunger in Denmark is that 6 percent of 11-year-olds reported “always” going to bed hungry, 4 percent of 13-year-olds and 4.5 percent of 15-year-olds. Compared to Greenland, where 11.1 percent of 11-year-olds always go to bed hungry, Denmark has been successful in creating a state where hunger does not pose a significant problem.
– Maneesha Khalae