Getting to know and understand Selina Juul

Selina Juul is a Russian-Denmark activist, graphic designer and author.  Her work concerns raising awareness on food waste. While some have criticized her for forceful advocacy for sustainability in food consumption, her passion is very understandable. She has put in a lot of effort to stop food waste in Denmark and other countries. While Selina Juul has really cut out an image for herself due to her activism, we take the trouble here to discuss her more with a little extra details that will likely tickle you.  

To show her commitment to the course, she set up a non-profit organization known as Stop Wasting Food. It has gained major popularity over the years and is currently Denmark’s largest NGO in the sector. Her strategy is something of a masterpiece given its inclusivity of all stakeholders. It focuses on shaping public opinion and promoting sustainable food consumption practices through consumer voice. 

Selina Juul’s Fight Against Food Waste 

Food waste remains a major challenge in most developed countries in the world. This happens even as the sustainable development goals, specifically goal number two that  targets to reduce global hunger which comes out as a great menace. So to be reasonable, Juul stands in the gap to remind us all that food isn’t supposed to be looked at from a narrow, individual and selfish perspective but instead open it up with a global outlook.  In Europe alone, reports indicate that the average household wastes €900 a year on uneaten food. Activist Selina Juul has dedicated her life to fighting against this challenge. She moved to Denmark from Russia with her mother twenty four years ago. 

According to her, she couldn’t help but notice the difference between the two countries when it came to food. As opposed to Russia, Denmark had an abundance of food that caught her by surprise. This is where she got the idea of starting the stop wasting food movement. It began as a Facebook group in 2008. 

By 2015, she had made a major impact on food waste in Denmark by reducing it by 25%. She accomplished this by working with the government, schools and supermarkets across the country. She actively debated and discussed the issue while also organizing media awareness drives and campaigns. 

Today, the organization has managed to form national and international networks that are focused on solving the problem. It has grown significantly as a result since it was founded fourteen years ago. Not only has she managed to partner with the Danish government, but also the European Union, and the United Nations. 

Stop Wasting Food, Selina Juul reminds us 

When Selina Juul was asked why the issue of wasting food mattered to her so much, she had an interesting answer. She stated that going by the current rate of population growth, there would be 12 billion people on earth by the end of the 21st century. And yet according to her, the current food production systems cannot keep up with this rate. 

On the contrary, approximately one-third of all the food produced worldwide ends up lost or wasted. This amount translates to billions of dollars that are spent on food which eventually benefits nobody. For Juul, this is enough reason to change the way we consume and find an alternative. 

It is the main reason why SWF has worked so hard over the years to bring some level of change. The organization works with food producers to turn food waste into profit. For instance, her partnership with the Norwegian multinational supermarket chain Rema 1000. It has allowed SWF to find an alternative way of using waste products. She managed to convince the low-cost supermarket to replace all its quantity discounts with single item discounts to minimize food waste.

The organization also focuses on the consumer since this is where food ends up wasted. It encourages people to organize their fridge with older items at the front. Similarly, the organization has raised awareness on not buying unnecessary things. It also applies to cooking more food than you can consume. 

Finally, Juul and her organization have been on the forefront of encouraging people to cook with leftovers. She has even published a book on this in conjunction with Danish celebrity chefs. She went further and contributed to the review of the Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard. 

Activism and Awards won by Selina Juul

Through Juul’s effort, Denmark is now one of the leading European countries that are focused on reducing food waste. She was instrumental in the formation of Wefood that is also focused on reducing food waste. It is also Denmark’s first ever food surplus supermarket. It allows consumers to purchase goods at 30 to 50 per cent cheaper prices compared to other retailers. 

Similarly, she contributed to and was part and parcel of the European Joint Declaration Against Food Waste. Her efforts are also evident from her membership of Danish government’s Partnership Against Food Waste. These initiatives continue to raise awareness on food waste in Europe and other parts of the world. 

Thankfully, her work has not gone to waste since it has been acknowledged by global media more than 7,000 times. She is also a speaker on the TEDx ideas exchange forum where she continues to push her ideas. And as if that isn’t enough, she is an avid food waster blogger for the reputable Huffington Post media organization. 

One can’t help but notice that Juul is a significant contributor to nearly two dozen Danish and international publications on the issue. She has received many awards and acknowledgments  for her work since 201.  A few examples are the Nordic Council Nature and Environment Prize (2013), the Dane of the Year award (2014) and Womenomics Influencer Award (2016).


Author: Fredrick