September 29, 2022, is the third International Food Loss and Waste Awareness Year! This event is an initiative of the United Nations that every year focuses on the global issue of food loss and waste. Indeed, no less than one-third of the food produced worldwide is thrown away!
We buy more food than we need, let fruits and vegetables spoil at home, or take larger portions than we can consume. When we waste food, we also waste the labour, effort, investment and resources such as water, seeds and feed that went into producing it, not to mention the resources needed for transportation and processing. Simply put, food waste increases greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to climate change. In a world where millions of people go hungry every day, reducing food loss and waste is essential.
Here are some easy steps to minimize food waste:
Adopt a healthier and more sustainable diet
We live at a fast pace, and it can be challenging to prepare meals. But healthy meals don't have to be complicated. The internet is full of easy, healthy recipes you can share with family and friends.
Buy only what you need
Plan your meals for the week. Make a shopping list and stick to it. Avoid compulsive shopping. You will waste less food and save money.
Don't always choose fruits and vegetables that look good
Don't judge foods by their appearance! Fruits and vegetables that are irregularly shaped or damaged are often thrown away because they don't meet certain standards. Don't worry, they taste the same! Use ripe fruit for smoothies, juices and desserts.
Stock up wisely
Put older produce in the front of your cupboards or refrigerator and fresher produce at the back. Use airtight containers to keep opened products in the fridge longer, and make sure packages are tightly closed to protect food from insects.
Use your leftovers
If you don't eat everything you make, store leftovers in the freezer for later use or use them to make other meals.
Put your food waste to good use
Instead of throwing away food waste, compost it. This way, you return nutrients to the soil and reduce your carbon footprint.
By buying local products, you support your community's family farmers and small businesses. This helps to reduce pollution and shortens delivery distances for trucks and other vehicles.
Protect fish populations
Eat more abundant species such as mackerel or herring, rather than those at risk of being overfished, such as cod or tuna. Buy fish caught or raised sustainably, such as certified or eco-labelled fish.
Even small changes in our habits can make a huge difference. Take action. Put an end to food loss and waste, for humanity and the planet.