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Credit: Sereechai Puttes, Time Out Bangkok

SOS Thailand’s COO tells us how we can get more out of food waste

Bangkok is a huge buffet city, with hotels and restaurants offering daily eat-all-you-can feasts or Sunday brunch specials. Many of these buffets prepare more food than their guests can consume—better be safe than have to deal with hungry, disgruntled customers complaining that there wasn’t enough roast beef.

But have you ever wondered what these restaurants do with all their excess food? Most become food waste, ending up in trash bins and, later, landfills. (64 percent of Bangkok landfills are made up of food waste.) Have you ever wondered if there was any way you could perhaps make sure that all these surplus food doesn’t just go to the bin? An NGO in Thailand has.

Read the full article to find out more here.

By Gail Piyanan and Thana Boonlert for Time Out Bangkok.


Tips to avoid food waste from Mario Batali, other top chefs in Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Wasted!’

Categories: Food & Beverage, Planet, Recommended Reading, Waste
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Wait not, waste not: Chef Mario Batali says to “prep ingredients when you first bring them home, immediately after shopping.” (WASTED!)


Chew on this: American families chuck 25% of the food and beverages they buy. On average, that means $1,820 per household gets thrown away annually. The U.S. isn’t alone. Around the globe, 1.3 billion tons of food gets tossed per year.

Those are just two eye-opening bites from the documentary “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste,” out Oct. 13. Produced by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and directed by Emmy Award winners Anna Chai and Nari Kye, the film seeks to change how people buy, cook and eat food.

Read the full article on how to avoid food waste here.

By Joe Dziemianowicz for New York Daily News.


Discussing how to reduce buffet waste during a panel discussion at the Ideo offices in New York. John Taggart for the New York Times.

Lawrence Eells, the executive chef at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, in Florida, would like his kitchen, or at least its operations, to be as lean as his roast beef. So in April, he welcomed a team of researchers looking at ways to reduce food waste, especially around the abundant all-you-can-eat buffets.

Their initial finding — that guests ate just over half of the food put out — surprised almost everyone. Perhaps even more striking was that only 10 to 15 percent of the leftovers could be donated or repurposed because of food safety regulations, while the rest ended up in the garbage. The sizable waste generated by coffee, juices and other liquids added to the conundrum.

Read the full article to find out ways found to reduce food waste in hotels. 


By Linda Himelstein for The New York Times. 


Startup helps Ikea save 350,000 meals from the trash can

Categories: Food & Beverage, Recommended Reading
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Credit: Shutterstock


A startup is turning waste into wealth by helping companies like Ikea slash the amount of food they throw away.


The global hospitality industry trashes food worth $100 billion a year, estimates Winnow, which says its technology can save commercial kitchens big bucks and stop good food going to waste.

Winnow shows chefs how much they’re wasting in real time, and what it costs their employers.

Retail giant Ikea estimates that Winnow (and U.S. competitor LeanPath) have helped its in-store restaurants save the equivalent of 350,000 meals worth nearly $900,000 in just eight months.


Read how Winnow is helping restaurants like IKEA slash the amount of food they throw away. 

By Jim Boulden @CNNMoney



Credit: Shutterstock


Eating sustainably is essential if we are to preserve our planet. Here are five tips about to make a difference.


  • Choose local and organic food


Try to buy locally-grown food as this has multiple benefits such as fewer greenhouse gas emissions from transporting and refrigerating the food and the preservation of jobs in the local community. There is, thankfully, already an increase in the consumption of local products,


Try also to purchase organic foods – grown without artificial pesticides and fertilisers. These foodstuffs are healthier and have less impact upon the environment.


  • Choose more plant-based foods


Reducing the volume of meat consumption has a significantly beneficial effect upon the environment. Pesticides may be used for meat production and valuable resources are needed to raise livestock such as cattle, pigs and chickens. For example, it is estimated that 16,000 litres of water are needed to produce 1kg of beef. If a family of four skips eating beef once a week it has the same beneficial effect upon the environment as not using a petrol or diesel car for three months. Click here for some healthy vegan recipes.


  • Choose seasonal foods


Eating seasonal foods means that there is a smaller chance the food has not been grown in artificial conditions nor transported from the other side of the world. Choosing to eat seasonal foods also brings variation to your diet as well that all-important fresh flavour.


  • Grow it yourself


If you have a garden, big or small, find some space to grow vegetables. It’s fun; it makes you appreciate your food, and it also contributes towards our goal of achieving a healthier, more sustainable world.


  • Get inspired and Inspire others


Talk to other food lovers who wish to be more environmentally-conscious about where it comes from and how it is grown. Learn more from the producers selling products at your local farmers’ market. Share your new-found knowledge with family and friends. You may learn from each other. Here are some sustainable food documentaries that may also help to inspire you.



Coffee. It’s the first drink that kick-starts each day for many readers and there are certainly ways to ensure that the coffee you drink has been produced in a sustainable manner.  But what about the by-product of your coffee? Is it possible to make constructive use of the coffee grounds?


Here are some effective ways to give your coffee grounds a second life.



Finally, always use a separate bin for your coffee grounds. They make a wonderful fertiliser, help earthworms to live longer and also act as an effective deterrent against garden pests.


Credit: Shutterstock

Restaurants, campuses, and farmers are battling food waste in their industries. Here’s how you can join the effort.


America is one of the largest offenders of food waste in the world, according to a recent survey. Every year, roughly 1.3 billion tons of food is thrown out worldwide, a considerable problem given that agriculture contributes about 22 percent of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions and 12.7 million people go hungry in America alone.

Entrepreneurs across several sectors have created ways to re-purpose food. Their efforts are admirable and economical, but the biggest difference will be if you make food waste reduction a daily habit.



Read more about how you can give food a new purpose here.


By Joseph Jaafari from NationSwell





Credit: Shutterstock


There’s a big lie about plastic — that you can throw it away. But that’s not true; there is no “away.”

Plastic bottles, plastic bags, snack wrappers, foam takeout containers, foam coffee cups, packing materials: these common, everyday items make up 85% of our waste stream. These items aren’t biodegradable and our ability to recycle them is limited.


This societal reliance on throw-away plastic is strangling our environment — particularly our waterways.

More than eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the world’s oceans each year, where it kills animals and fouls waterways and beaches. This isn’t the work of careless litterbugs at the beach. Over 80% of ocean plastic comes from land-based sources. Even if you live inland and take care to properly dispose of your trash, there is a good chance some of your plastic waste has found its way to the sea.


Consider the American Great Lakes, where 80% of the litter along the shorelines is plastic. That trash doesn’t stay put — it flows through the canals and river systems through the St. Lawrence Seaway and into the Atlantic Ocean. A takeout container that blows off a Chicago landfill can wind up off the coast of Africa.

From there, the damage gets far worse. Once in the ocean, plastic eventually breaks into micro-particles that cause toxins to enter the food chain.

A single discarded piece of plastic breaks down into millions — and these bits are mistaken for food and ingested by even the smallest organisms on the oceanic food chain. Contaminated zooplankton feed on phytoplankton, which are fed on by small fish, who are fed on by squid — and so it goes on up to our dinner plates.


Read the full article here.


By Julie Anderson from Los Angeles Time


Credit: Shutterstock


June is a popular month in western countries for getting married. Couples who are approaching the final preparations for their big day have many things on their minds and therefore sustainability may be the least of their worries.


However, here are some tips to help wedding planners and venue operators show leadership in sustainable practices, making sure that newlyweds begin their lives together in a responsible and environmentally friendly manner.


  1. Flowers

Choose flowers that are VeriFlora certified and grown without chemicals. Seasonally available and locally purchased flowers also mean a lower footprint. Flowers can also serve double duty – for the ceremony decorations as well as table centrepieces to help cut costs. Couples may also consider eco alternatives to flowers such as potted plants and EcoFlower, which often offers discounts for brides. After the wedding, consider working with organisations such as Rebloom to make sure the flower arrangements are reused.


  1. Catering

Food is a major element in every wedding celebration so consider purchasing organic and sustainable food or sourcing quality excess food from organisations such as Oz Harvest. Suggest vegetarian alternatives, seasonal and locally grown food, and sustainable options such as sustainable seafood which may reduce drastically the carbon footprint of the wedding. Read more on how to reduce carbon emission with the right catering.


  1. Decorations

Whether the wedding is on a beach or in an hotel or other indoor venue the decorations always play an important role. Consider purchasing decorations from a party rental service, – helping to trim costs and reduce waste. Look for high-quality equipment from a garage sale that gives a trendy ‘vintage look’ for the wedding. Make sure to save any purchased decor for other events.


  1. Create an eco-friendly wedding package

Assess activities that are successful and combine them into a beautiful eco-friendly package that is sure to catch the eye. Meeting the demands of young couples keeps you on track to market your services to an even wider audience.




There’s no doubt that raising livestock for food requires massive amounts of land, food, energy and water – and it is claimed that these farm animals contribute to at least 50 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to a report published by the Worldwatch Institute.


Is it possible for humans to adjust lifestyles and diets in such a way that these emissions are reduced? Here are some easy options for reducing your meat intake and lowering your culinary carbon footprint.


  1. Try a vegetarian restaurant

Removing meat from the daily diet is becoming more popular. The app HappyCow has been developed to make it easy to find vegan and vegetarian restaurants. HappyCow gives you insider tips in over 175 countries. Download the app here.



  1. Think about your staples

Make a list of ingredients that you consume on a regular basis. Consider vegetarian alternatives and make a new list. If you enjoy spaghetti or chilli, for example, use a ground-beef alternative from suppliers such as Morningstar Farms and just cook it using your normal recipe and method.


  1. Tell your friends & family

Explain the rationale for your decision to reduce meat consumption and demonstrate practically how alternatives can be equally appetizing. Click here for some nutritious recipes.