With the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgia, like other former Soviet republics, faced economic insecurity, political chaos and rising criminality, but also a more basic challenge -- how to find food. “The most important thing was survival,” Grdzelishvili, today a 33-year-old gender specialist in Tbilisi, says of the period. Severe food shortages brought on by the gradual collapse of the centralized food-distribution system had forced this agriculturally rich nation -- once a cornucopia -- to start from scratch and recreate ways of supplying food.
Of Bread and Barter: Surviving Georgia’s Food Crisis
Food waste is a worldwide problem. According to a 2013 report by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, a third of all food produced for consumption globally ends up on landfills. Studies conducted by the environmental NGO CENN in 2016 and 2018 found that 40% of the waste found on dumpsites across Georgia is an organic waste; much of which is food. In every single one of the country’s municipalities, household waste makes up the majority of all waste.