What is food waste?
Food waste is when any food that could have been eaten by people is wasted or thrown away. Sadly, precious food is wasted every day along the whole food supply chain – from when it’s grown, during transportation, in the packaging and manufacturing process, at the supermarkets and, above all, in our homes.
Did you know? More than half of all food waste comes from the home! And over a third of our household bin is food waste.
But, there is good news! 60% of food waste at home is avoidable… it just takes a bit of effort and picking up some good food saving habits.
Why do we waste food?
- It goes past its use by date
- Leftovers get thrown in the bin
- We buy too much, we serve too much
- It gets forgotten at the back of the fridge
Did you know? On average, Australian households waste over $3,800 each year on food that is never eaten. Saving food could be the equivalent of a pay rise!
So, why should you care?
- Globally, one third of all food produced does not get eaten; that’s 1.3 billion tonnes of perfectly edible food wasted. And yet one in nine people do not have enough food to eat. That’s just crazy. If we could save a quarter of this food, it would be enough to feed all the hungry people in world (890 million of them).
- Food waste also contributes to climate change. In fact it’s responsible for 8% of the world’s CO2 emissions. Food rotting in landfill releases methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas.
- The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates the carbon footprint from food produced and not eaten to be around 3.3 gigatonnes of CO2. If food waste was a country, it would be the third highest emitter of green house gases, after China and the US!
- Here in Australia it’s estimated that food waste costs more than $20 billion each year, probably even more.
- The truth is, wasting food is a waste of everything. It’s not just a waste of the money in your pocket, it’s a huge waste of valuable resources. Next time you go to throw away a squishy tomato or a bruised banana think about the water it took to produce it, the land, labour and love to grow it and the transportation and fuel to deliver it.
Every time we throw good food away, it’s literally costing us the earth.
What can you do?
You can help fight food waste at home, with the ‘buy what you need, eat what you buy’ philosophy. Here’s what you need to do…
Buy what you need:
- Check what food you already have (this is VERY important)
- Plan your meals
- Write and shop to a list
- Don’t buy too much (you can always go shopping again!)
Eat what you buy:
- Check the food in your fridge regularly
- Look at the dates, move things around so food that needs to be used is at the front
- Freeze what you don’t need
- Use it up (get creative, Google the ingredients if you’re not sure what to cook)
- Love your leftovers.