Studies have recently shown that one third of all world-wide food production gets lost or wasted during production and consumption. An astounding figure of 1.3 billion tonnes. Retailers and consumers in industrialised nations throw away about 300 million tonnes that is still fit for consumption. This figure equals the production of Sub-Saharan Africa and could easily feed the 900 million who are experiencing hunger in the world.
What is food waste/ loss?
Food loss is food that gets spilled, spoiled or lost in other ways during food production and also includes food of reduced quality and value. The loss occurs in the production area of the supply chain, before it reaches its final stage. It can take place during production, post-harvest, during processing or distribution.
Food waste usually takes place at the retail or consumption stage in the food supply chain. The food has been successfully produced and is fit for consumption but doesn’t actually get consumed because it is discarded and not just because it is no longer considered fit for eating.
What is the Think.Eat.Save Campaign?
Food waste is a global problem that has a negative impact for financial, environmental and humanitarian reasons. The good news is that we can all make a difference by making a few simple and quick changes to some of our habits pertaining to food.
The Save Food Initiative therefore decided to start a Think.Eat. Save campaign. The partners in this campaign are UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisations of the United Nations) and Messe Dusseldorf, who in turn are supporting the UN Secretary-General’s Zero Hunger Challenge. The aim of this campaign is to add authority and voice to the partners efforts and bring about widespread global, regional and national action and to encourage more sectors of society to be aware and take action.
There is already a dedicated website where consumers and retailers can get help, assistance and find new ideas on how they can make a difference. Many people think that food waste disposal is not a problem as when it’s placed in landfill it easily rots down and where’s the issue with that? Nothing could be further from the truth. In order to compost properly light and air is needed. When your food waste collection ends up in landfill it gets neither of these. Rather than composting it actually produces methane gas, which is a contributing factor in global warming. As consumers we throw away, on average a third of the food that we buy, every week. Buying too much and poor control of portions means a lot of it goes off before we can actually eat it.
Campaign’s official website: www.thinkeatsave.org
10 Ways to Reduce Your Food Bill and Food Waste
- Plan your meals and don’t impulse buy
- Just because it doesn’t look perfect it doesn’t mean it won’t taste as good
- Understand there is a difference between best before and use by dates
- Eat what you’ve already got before buying more
- Introduce a first in, first out rule in your kitchen
- Use your freezer more
- Don’t be tempted to go large with your portions
- Try using your leftovers
- Donate items you really won’t be consuming
With these few simple actions you can make a difference to the amount of food waste you create and help improve food waste management efforts in the UK today. If we all stand up and make a conscious effort to change the way we look at food there will be a significant change in the need and levels of rubbish removal and hopefully this will in turn lead to fewer people going hungry.
Here are six posters by UNEP made for the World Environment Day:
Tags: food waste