We've long admired the French for their food philosophy, breezy approach to beauty, and genius self-care routines. And according to a new report, we should envy their commitment to sustainability, too.
France ranked No. 1 overall on this year's Food Sustainability Index (FSI), developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit with the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation. The FSI analyzed 34 of the world's most developed nations to see how they stacked up on food waste, sustainable agriculture, and nutrition.
With an overall ranking of 74.79, France took home the gold, due in large part to its commitment to fighting food waste. Last year, it became the first country to pass legislation prohibiting supermarkets from throwing away food based on its sell-by date. Instead, they are required to donate all food that is still edible to a charity or food bank. Any store larger than 4,305 square feet is expected to sign donation contracts with charities to avoid a hefty fine or even jail time. Policies like this have helped the country get its food waste down to 1.8 percent annually (compared to America's 40 percent). France is also in the process of phasing out chemical pesticides like glyphosate by 2020, further illustrating a commitment to healthy, sustainable food for all citizens.
Japan grabbed the No. 2 spot on this year's FSI list, earning high marks for its nutrition standards, and Germany wasn't far behind. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the United States did not earn a spot in the top five. We're sitting at 21st place overall, thanks to the greenhouse gas emissions of our agricultural sector.