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THE FIGHT AGAINST FOOD WASTE STARTS WITH US.

Whenever we waste food, all the resources that were used to grow the food, from water to energy to transportation, are wasted as well. Being aware about the severity of food wastage and how to do your part to fix it is now more important than ever! 

Words By Ella van Niekerk

29/09/2021

Food Waste

Everything we do impacts the world around us, from what we wear, to what we eat, to what we don’t eat. Food waste is one of the largest issues that we are facing today, as it contributes to Carbon emissions, landfills, land use, resources and so much more. The causes of food waste are numerous and occur throughout the entire food system, during production, processing, distribution, retail and consumption. The global volume of food waste is estimated at 1.6 billion tonnes. The carbon footprint of food waste is estimated at 3.3 billion tonnes of CO2.

This is an issue that we not only need to care about, but we also need to act on it now. Studies show that 53% of food waste in Europe is accounted for in and from households. This amounts to approximately 71 kilograms of food waste per person, per year in Europe.

Luckily, there are so many ways we can reduce our food waste at home. Here are a few tips that you can start doing:

1. Start small 

Bigger is not always better, especially when it comes to portions and ’bulk buying.’ Actively thinking about the little things always ends up making the biggest impact.

2. Buy only what you need

Plan your meals, always write shopping lists and avoid impulse buys at all costs. Not only will you reduce waste, you’ll also save money!

3.Store food wisely 

Move older products to the fronts of your cupboards and put new products in the back. Use airtight containers to keep food fresher for longer.

4. Love your leftovers

There is a big difference between “use by” and “best before” dates. Sometimes food is still safe to eat after the “best before” date, whereas it’s the “use-by” date that tells you when it is no longer safe to eat.

5. Support local food producers

Buying locally is a win-win because not only are you helping small businesses in your community, but you are also reducing air and other transport-related pollution.

6. Sharing is caring 

Donate food that would otherwise be wasted.

Food Composting

Food composting is the natural process of decomposition and recycling of food waste and other organic waste into a rich, nutrient filled soil known as compost. There are so many benefits of composting;, most importantly, it encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter, helps improve soil structure, maintains moisture levels, and keeps the soil’s pH balance in check while helping to suppress plant diseases. Food composting is not exclusive to big companies or farms. In fact, you can compost your own food waste at home to help reduce it on a global scale.

Composting is thus a great way to reduce food waste and a necessary contribution to protecting our planet. However, it can be a tricky process, so here are some tips to get you started:

1. Choose the best compost method for you.

Spend some time to think about what your compost operation should look like. You can find a system that works for your lifestyle and garden’s needs.

2. Plan your food scrap collection system.

Pick your container and have it sitting somewhere you’ll see to use it. A compost collecting bin is great because it has filtered air flow, which keeps flies out, but also prevents your fruit from fermenting.

3. Start two batches of compost.

Working in smaller batches can help you achieve faster results, plus you can avoid the labor of one large pile of compost.

4. Don’t forget to remove product stickers.

Product stickers are made of plastic which means they will not break down in your compost bins. 

5. Compost freely in your garden.

Once you have created your compost, don’t be shy! Your garden and soil will love the time and effort you have put in to show how much you care!