The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation has reported that 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted every year. Yet, one in nine people on Earth do not have enough food. Food wastage’s carbon footprint is estimated at 303 billion tonnes of equivalent of GHG released into the atmosphere. With increasing concern of the world for climate change, PATA, along with our project partner Scholars of Sustenance Thailand (Thai-SOS) and knowledge partner, Futoris are undertaking the BUFFET (Building an Understanding of Food Excess in Tourism) Initiative to target food waste in the hospitality industry in the Asia Pacific region.
Food waste reduction practices should not only be left to government or private sector to implement; we believe that food waste reduction should first start in your home. Here’s how you can start:
Plan before you buy
Having your meals planned before going to the grocery store saves you both money and time and most importantly, saves food from going to waste. It prevents you from buying unnecessary and impulse ingredients that will probably just end up sitting in the back of your refrigerator until it turns bad. When planning your meals, it is best to consume ingredients that can be used in multiple recipes. This way, you won’t waste any ingredients or be bored of the same food!
It is hard to refrain yourself from buying packets of nutritious fruits and vegetables especially when they’re on sale. 2 packets of strawberries selling for the price of 1? Freeze them and blend it into a delicious smoothie that is perfect for anytime of the day. Best part is that a mix of any kinds of fruits and vegetables will be able to make a perfect blend. Here are 50 smoothies combinations you can try at home.
Trust your senses
How many times have you thrown away food that is perfectly packaged just because it has passed its expiry date? “Best-before” dates are indicators of when a product may begin to lose its flavor and texture, not when the product becomes dangerous to eat. Be sure to do a simple sniff test before tossing food into the bin.
Composting does not always need to be a pile of wastes that is dirty, which stinks or looks like it has a life on its own. You will be surprised by just how easy it to start an indoor or outdoor composting pile. Home composting can potentially divert up to 150 kg of waste per household per year. Composting at home is one of the best ways you can practice sustainable living through connecting waste back to the resource.
Food for thought: How long do you think it takes for a head of lettuce to decompose in a landfill?
Grow your own
Now that you have enriched soil in hand from composting, there is nothing more fulfilling than reaping what you sow. Growing your own food saves you a trip to the grocery store and give you the control on what kinds of fertilizer and pesticides come in contact with your food.
Answer: It takes 25 YEARS for a head of lettuce to decompose in a landfill. A little goes a long way. Start being an active citizen and be conscious of what you toss in the bin.
Further information on food waste:
Volunteer: Check out Scholars of Sustenance (SOS)’s country projects. Your country may be next to benefit from SOS Food Rescue programs.
Cut food costs in your kitchen: See how Winnow Solutions can help.