Stop food waste

As populaces increase, the need for food will certainly increase too. Considering that approximately 1/3 of all food generated around the world every year is chucked out, food waste urgently needs to be suppressed. It comes at a cost of approximately $680 billion to industrialized countries, and $315 billion to arising countries. However, there are means to produce much more food sustainably without exhausting the globe’s sources.

Wasted food is costing Irish householders €700 each year. Despite the ongoing roll-out of brown bins across the country, a large proportion of Ireland’s wasted food still ends up in local landfills. This, of course, has significant environmental impacts. Long before we even buy our food, there are abundant environmental costs associated with getting that food into our trolleys.

How much food do we waste?

Around 1/3 of our wasted food comes from households. Each occupier throws out about 80 kg of food each year. This may not sound like a lot, but multiple this by all the people in Ireland. It means that over 300,000 tonnes of food is going to waste each year in our homes.

While some of this wastage cannot be avoided, the majority could be spared if we managed our food better. Think of all the money you could save!

In general, there are three types of scraps thrown out:

60% is avoidable food waste. This includes food like plate scrapings, leftovers, gone off fruit and veg, passed its date perishables, etc. This is the main area where people can save money. Usually this just requires a bit more awareness of how best to manage their food.

20% is potentially avoidable food waste. Things like bread crusts, potato skins, etc. These are food wastes that are often related to habits and, as with any habit, changing can be hard.

20% is unavoidable food waste. Including chicken bones, banana skins, peelings, etc. Some of these items can be reduced (by better preparation techniques), reused (bones and veg peelings can be used to make stock) and even turned into an ingredient.

Obviously there will always be some food wasted. But, by initially focusing on the first two types of waste mentioned above, you could cut the food throw away, and the money you spend on it, by anywhere up to 80%!

Challenge: How much can you save?



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