World Food Day 2022 finds us with multiple global challenges including the ongoing pandemic, conflict, climate change, rising prices, and international tensions. All of this is affecting global food security. Reflecting on our food choices may be more important than ever before.
Roughly one-third of all food produced for human consumption is either lost or wasted. Yet hunger continues to increase as well as the recent demand for food banks, even in some of the world’s most developed economies. The food retail and hospitality sectors can play a key role in helping reduce food waste and ensuring that those suffering are not left without. There are more and more programmes to donate safe foods that would otherwise spoil or be wasted to food banks or relief organisations.
Our events team has tested a number of ways to reduce food waste – let’s recall them.
- Support companies that use food waste as ingredients.
- Cut down on supermarket packaging and shop at local outdoor markets or opt for a boxed subscription service.
- Don’t over-purchase when you head out to your local shop. Plan meals carefully and stick to the list. In the same vein, bear portion sizes in mind when cooking in order to cut down on leftovers.
- Understand food labels. Best-before and use-by dates can be confusing. If it’s possible stick food in the freezer before it goes off (use-by date). Make sure to organise your fridge and rotate food regularly, using the older ones first. Best-before dates are about quality, not safety. Tinned food may start to lose its flavour after that date, but the food will not be harmful.
- Use and (re-use) everything.
- Join a local app to rescue food that will otherwise go to waste.
- Invest in a counter-top compost bin. This will prevent food scraps from going to landfill that produces methane gas, which is 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide. The landfill also produces excess water, it wastes energy, money, land, and labour. Not forgetting all the love and care that went into producing the food in the first instance. Instead, use the compost for plants or herb boxes. Coffee grounds can be used as an alternative fertiliser.
- Make sure to read the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s guide and find out what can be done to work toward inclusive and sustainable future.