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Food Waste Day 2022 – 27th April

/ Health & Fitness

Marko, our nutritional expert gives his opinions on Food Waste…

When I was growing up, I was often told to finish the food on my plate because of starving children in the world who would be pleased to eat it. This had minor impact on me as I would have been glad to send the food to them!

But our focus has changed in more recent times to the effect of food waste on climate change.

Globally about one third of edible food produced across the world is never eaten, enough to feed 2 billion people, just over one quarter of the world’s population!

We often assume that the supermarkets and policymakers are to blame for setting their standards too high and throwing perfectly edible food away, but the reality is that in Western Countries more than half of wasted food is caused by us, the citizens!

Most of this wasted food is discarded in people’s homes, when we scrape food off our plates into the bin or throw out unopened packets. On average each UK citizen wastes over 200g food per day most common being vegetables, salads, drinks, and bread.

When we put food in the bin it ends up at the landfill site. Landfills smell of rotting food as waste is piled up and not much air can reach buried food waste. Rotting food without enough oxygen makes methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and this typically causes over one kilo of emissions per person per day.

What can I do?

People often think they do not produce food waste, but it tends to happen when we’re tired and looking for something to eat. We can’t blame it all on a different generation either, as surveys have found that all ages wasted a significant amount of food, although millennials wasted 50% more than people of retirement age.

Try to spot yourself wasting food over the coming days.

Here are five practical tips:

  1. Make a habit of storing leftovers and reheating them as a bonus snack the next day.

 

  1. Check whether old food is still safe to eat or simply of a lower quality which can be eaten in a different way (e.g., toasting old bread)

 

  1. Plan your food before going shopping, so you only buy food you expect to use.

 

  1. Measure out the amount of products like rice or pasta before cooking so you don’t make too much.
  2. If you buy extra of a product on special offer, remember to buy less of something else to compensate.

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