Food waste may be something that you hear about constantly but Media outlets keep on talking about it, because it KEEPS HAPPENING. For that reason I am now ranting: Stop buying more than you need!
In 2008 Martin Hickman wrote an article for the Independent saying: “Britain throws away £10bn of food every year.”
You would have thought that those reports would be enough to make a change? Well, it appears that not much has changed. Rebecca Smithers, wrote for The Guardian that 7.2m tonnes of food that is thrown away annually could have been eaten. Where as Anna-Louise Taylor, wrote for the BBC that 4.4m tonnes of that comes from British Households.
This, for me at least, is alarming there is so much inequality on food distribution on this world and yet we seem to think that is ok to throw away food just because we cannot be bothered to cook it, or perhaps because it doesn’t look as pretty as we expect it, or what it’s worse sometimes we throw it away because it has been in the fridge for a few days and “it may not be good anymore.”
But have we actually stop and use our senses to check if that food is really gone off? If I was to ask my housemate, the answer would be: No.
He believes that he cares about the environment and he would lecture you on how palm oil is evil, yet he will go every week to the supermarket and comeback with tons of food, half of which will end up in the compost bin, when it is still perfectly edible.
The sad true is that he is not the only one, UK Households waste 25% of all the food they buy, and don’t get me started with Supermarkets.
Many people still confuse the ‘Best Before’ sign with the ‘Use By‘ one. Products such as meat can be dangerous if eaten after they have gone off, but others such as vegetables are not off unless they are soggy, runny and with green (or white) fungi hairs, basically looking like a dripping zombie.
Carrots, for example, if kept dry will last for weeks in the fridge they will dehydrate, but it doesn’t mean they are not edible they can still be added to soups and stews, and the same goes to many other veggies.
There are many ways to use food that has been in the fridge for a while, but the real question is: Why do we keep buying so much more than what we actually need? Or why do we cook more than we can eat?
Not only is bad for the environment and cruel on other countries which suffer from food poverty, it cost households around £50 per month. Imagine all you could do if you saved that money.
Tristram Stuart, winner of the international environmental award, The Sophie Prize 2011, said on hisFood Waste Facts: “The bread and other cereal products thrown away in UK households alone would have been enough to lift 30 million of the world’s hungry people out of malnourishment.”
He also said: “8.3 million hectares of land are required to produce just the meat and dairy products wasted in UK homes and in US homes, shops and restaurants. That is 7 times the amount of Amazon rainforest destroyed in Brazil in one year, largely for cattle grazing and soy production to export for livestock feed.”
See that is shocking. But what can be done?
There are organisations such as the ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ a project brought by WRAP, Waste & Resources Action Programme,which encourages people to buy less and gives tips on how to keep food for longer and great ways to use leftovers.
Many things can be done, starting for planning what to buy and trying to use the food before throwing it. One example, is Fruit that is a little bit over ripe, this can be use in making desserts and baking, as it is normally sweeter just before it goes off.
So tell me, what would you do to stop food waste?