Learn more about how the world’s food wastage epidemic is affecting the economy, the environment, and what you can do to help stop it.
In this day and age, it is easy to believe the illusion of plentifulness. Most of us live just a little way from a grocery shop, and we can buy essentials and all kinds of food products whenever we want. The downside of such widespread availability is that people aren’t too concerned about the consequence of food wastage. Entire batches of unsold products (anything from fruit and veggies, to meats and processed foods) goes to waste and they never even leave the supermarket. Many of us will forget stuff we bought hidden away at the back of our fridge.
If you consider all the environmental harm and further wastage that comes from industrial packaging materials and plastics, the numbers grow to a truly gargantuan level. What is the global impact of food waste? Is it really something that we should be more concerned about? Keep reading to learn more.
How is food waste affecting the world?
Food wastage is making an impact on a global scale. Over 1.3 billion tons of food per year goes to waste. This can actually harm the climate (increasing global warming) as well as endangering the world’s biodiversity, water, and land ecosystems. For instance, excessive wastage of cereals in the Asia-Pacific region is currently having a massive impact on global carbon emissions, as well as water and land usage. This is particularly true about rice, a very popular grain. The latter is an important nutritional staple in many cultures, but it also gets wasted a lot, with significant environmental consequences, as described above.
In addition to the aforementioned environmental dangers, food wastage actually causes significant economic losses for obvious reasons.
What can you do to fight food waste?
While it is important for big corporations to change their ways in order to have a massive impact on food waste on a global scale, consumers can still contribute to a positive shift. It all starts from small daily habits, which can help you reduce food wastage on a massive scale, at least when it comes to you and your family!
There are many good ways to prevent unnecessary food waste. For instance, simple weekly meal planning can help you organise your groceries. The idea is that if you know in advance what you’re going to be cooking for the week, you’ll likely going to buy what you need, and avoid wasting stuff you buy, but might not use. Some grocery shops are starting to offer fruit and veggies that are close to their expiration date as a reduced price. These items might not look perfect, but they are still perfectly good to eat, and even better to cook with. You could buy large quantities of older veggies for cheap, and make stocks and soups that you could freeze and use for your cooking over time, for instance. The possibilities are truly endless.
In addition to that, there is a wide range of eco-friendly products and vegan alternatives that can help you fight wastage, as well as improving the quality of your lifestyle!