Thursday the 29th of September 2020 marked the first ever International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste. The goal of the day was to raise global awareness about the issue in the hopes that both public and private sectors will bolster their efforts to reduce food loss and waste. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) it is calculated that 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted each year.
The Economic & Environmental Impact of Food Loss & Waste:
There are numerous ways in which food loss and food waste are negatively impacting the societies across the globe. For instance, the FAO estimated that the economic consequences of food wastage add up to the equivalent of €638 billion annually.
Food production puts immense pressure on both land and water resources. Given that approximately one quarter of global food is wasted annually, this means that land and water resources are needlessly contributing to climate change year after year. In fact, according to the FAO, the carbon footprint of food wastage is estimated at 3.3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent released into the atmosphere per annum. Food loss and waste are responsible for 6% of global GHG emissions each year.
5 Tips for Reducing Food Waste at Home
Now that we know that reducing food loss and wastage can help to decrease GHG emissions, let’s look at some simple ways that we can tackle the issue at home.
1. Shop Smart
Try to avoid impulse buying when you are doing your grocery shopping. Before you get to the shop, make a list of exactly what you need and stick to your list – don’t buy more than necessary. If you find it difficult to figure out precisely what foods you need, try planning out your meals for the week.
2. Declutter Your Fridge
Having a fridge that is practically overflowing can cause a lot of food waste. When food is packed into your fridge in a disorganized manner, it is easy forget about various items that may be shoved to the back or hidden under other products. When this occurs, foods can to go out of date without even being opened. To avoid this from happening, make an effort to declutter your fridge. A good way of avoiding food spoilage is to organize your fridge using the first in, first out method. So, as a general rule, put the newer food items to the back of the fridge and the older ones to the front.
3. Make Use of Leftovers
Instead of scrapping your leftover food, why not refrigerate or freeze it and use it again in another meal? Ensure you store your leftover food in plain sight, preferably in a see-through container so that you don’t forget about it.
4. Try Composting
If you don’t want to reuse leftover food, try composting it instead. Composting allows you to turn your food waste into a natural plant and soil fertilizer. You can either use an outdoor composter or, if you’re tight on space, you can use a tabletop composter in your kitchen.
Have a look at this easy to use Kitchen Tabletop Compost Caddy.
5. Choose Ugly Fruit & Veg
Try not to be a perfectionist when it comes to the appearance of your fruit and vegetables. In recent years there has been an increase in consumer demand for “perfect” looking food, with misshapen or “ugly” food getting passed up in supermarkets. Being picky when it comes to the appearance of our food leads to an increase in food waste. So next time you’re doing a grocery shop, show some love to the “ugly” fruit and veg!