The Human race really are quite wasteful in lots of areas and the planet suffers as a consequence of this. One of the biggies is food waste and it contributes to greenhouse gases and the damage being caused to our planet.
Here’s 10 facts about food waste currently:
- If food waste were a country it would be the 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases (after China & the USA).
- In most developed countries, over half of all food waste comes from the home.
- Food waste at the retail level is less that 2% of total food waste (although supermarket practices are directly responsible for most of the food waste elsewhere in the food chain.
- 25% of the worlds fresh water supply is used to grow food that is never even eaten.
- Over 1/3 of all food produced globally goes to waste.
- The annual value of food wasted globally is $1 trillion, and it weighs over 1.3 billion tonnes.
- An are larger than China is used to grow food that is never actually eaten.
- In the home food waste is worth $2,275 per year to the average family just in Australia. In the UK it’s £800 per year per family and in the USA its $2,275. Collectively this adds up to $15 billion per year.
- 3 billion people are joining the planet by 2050 – this will require a 60-70% increase in global food production!
When you look at the facts around food waste, it’s actually shocking that we waste so much food that it is enough to feed all the people who are hungry in the world!
As much as its shocking to see and realise, the real question we should be asking ourselves is ‘What can we do about it?’ Well to be honest quite a bit if we really want to start making a difference to ours, our children’s and future generations lives.
Here’s some tips on easily and quickly getting started in the fight against food waste:
- Make sure you review your fridge every few days and work out a rough plan of how you are going to use what you have available. It may seem time consuming but it only takes a few minutes to do, plus it allows you to prioritize what you need to use up first and what combinations of food you have available to create meals with.
- Discipline yourself not to go and buy more food until you have really emptied the fridge. Instead of shopping, improvise with what you have, you will find yourself being more creative with your cooking.
- Keep a glass bowl in the fridge on one of the higher shelves so you can see it easily. Move any vegetable odds and ends into it on a daily basis, so you knowwhat needs to be used up first.
- Most definitely start or continue to grow your own food. Choose whether it makes sense to grow your own, join a community garden or garden share. Remember to grow food that you want to and will eat.
- Conserve and preserve to avoid waste and to ensure that you are eating food free from additives and chemical preservatives.
- Freeze excess fruit and vegetables.
- Compost your food waste. It is essential to help control the problems of waste that are contributing to pollution. Food scraps and garden trimmings account for about 40% of waste in residential garbage. As these organic materials degrade in a landfill, they generate methane, a potent greenhouse gas that traps about 20 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Methane and other greenhouse gases are building up in the atmosphere, thickening the heat-trapping blanket of insulation around the earth.
- Buy quality, seasonal, local and ethical produce over imported, cheaper produce.
Just by making these small changes, it really can and will make a difference. There’s so much that needs to change in this world so our children can have a bright, safe and happy future. Change starts with us and every individual person can #bethechange.