Food waste is a big menace globally and almost half of our food is said to be wasted across the world.
According to ww.worldwildlife.org,, today, an estimated one-third of all the food produced in the world goes to waste.
This is equal to about 1.3 billion tons of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, seafood, and grains that either never leave the farm, get lost or spoiled during distribution, or are thrown away in hotels, grocery stores, restaurants, schools, or home kitchens.
Reports say it could be enough calories to feed every undernourished person on the planet.
It is pertinent to note that wasted food is not just a social or humanitarian concern, it is rather an environmental one.
When we waste food, we also waste all the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package it. And if food goes to the landfill and rots, it produces methane—a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide.
What can we do to solve this enormous food waste problem?
Here are some easy actions you can take to avoid food waste .
I got these from https://www.fao.org/fao-stories/article/en/c/1309609/
1. Adopt a healthier, more sustainable diet
Life is fast-paced and preparing nutritious meals can be a challenge, but healthy meals don’t have to be elaborate. The internet is full of quick healthy recipes that you can share with your family and friends
2. Buy only what you need
Plan your meals. Make a shopping list and stick to it, and avoid impulse buys. Not only will you waste less food, you’ll also save money!
3. Pick ugly fruit and vegetables
Don’t judge food by its appearance! Oddly-shaped or bruised fruits and vegetables are often thrown away because they don’t meet arbitrary cosmetic standards. Don’t worry – they taste the same! Use mature fruit for smoothies, juices and desserts.
4. Store food wisely
Move older products to the front of your cupboard or fridge and new ones to the back. Use airtight containers to keep open food fresh in the fridge and ensure packets are closed to stop insects from getting in.
5. Understand food labelling
There’s a big difference between “best before” and “use-by” dates. Sometimes food is still safe to eat after the “best before” date, whereas it’s the “use-by” date that tells you when it is no longer safe to eat. Check food labels for unhealthy ingredients such as trans fats and preservatives and avoid foods with added sugar or salt.
6. Start small
Take smaller portions at home or share large dishes at restaurants.
7. Love your leftovers
If you don’t eat everything you make, freeze it for later or use the leftovers as an ingredient in another meal.
8. Put your food waste to use
Instead of throwing away your food scraps, compost them. This way you are giving nutrients back to the soil and reducing your carbon footprint.
9. Respect food
Food connects us all. Re-connect with food by knowing the process that goes into making it. Read about food production and get to know your farmers.
10. Support local food producers
By buying local produce, you support family farmers and small businesses in your community. You also help fight pollution by reducing delivery distances for trucks and other vehicles.
11. Keep fish populations afloat
Eat fish species that are more abundant, such as mackerel or herring, rather than those that are at risk of being overfished, like cod or tuna. Buy fish that has been caught or farmed sustainably, such as eco-labelled or certified fish.
12. Use less water
We can’t produce food without water! While it’s important that farmers use less water to grow food, reducing food waste also saves all the water resources that went into producing it. Reduce your water intake in other ways too: fixing leaks or turning off the water while brushing your teeth!
13. Keep our soils and water clean
Some household waste is potentially hazardous and should never be thrown in a regular rubbish bin. Items such as batteries, paints, mobile phones, medicine, chemicals, fertilizers, tires, ink cartridges, etc. can seep into our soils and water supply, damaging the natural resources that produce our food.
14. Eat more pulses and veggies
Once a week, try eating a meal based on pulses or ‘ancient’ grains like quinoa.
15. Sharing is caring
Donate food that would otherwise be wasted. For example, Apps can connect neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away.