According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation about 14 percent of the food produced globally is lost. Even though enough food is produced to feed the world, data shows that an estimate of 690 million people globally are hungry and lack food security.
Food is either lost or wasted along the whole supply chain: on the farm, in processing and manufacturing, in retail, and in households.
Besides being an ethical and economic issue, food waste depletes the planet from its limited natural resources and contributes to the problem of climate change.
When food is wasted, the resources required to grow food are also wasted.
This includes all the energy, water, land, feed etc. required to produce the food but also the resources needed to transport and process it.
Moreover, the disposal of food in landfills, leads to the production of greenhouse gas emissions, thus contributing to climate change.
Research tells us...
In 2019, the National Statistics Office of Malta estimated that 33,375 tonnes of animal and mixed food waste were generated. Furthermore, a study by FUSIONS has shown that in Malta each person produces about 129.6kg of household food waste per year.
This is considered to be high, especially in comparison to other countries, for example Germany, who produce 62.7kg.
The most recent figures also show that in the EU 88 million tonnes of food waste is generated each year with costs estimated to be €143 billion.
Food waste is an ethical and economic issue which also contributes to the problem of climate change. Thus, it negatively impacts the planet and the well-being of humans. Remember, that small conscious changes every day lead to big changes in the long term, the decisions made now will define the future.
8 simple actions you can take to reduce food waste at home
- Plan a shopping list
This gives you a realistic idea of what and how many food items you need, thus preventing the possibility of wasting food and overspending.
- Support local farmers
Buy local and seasonal produce, as to reduce the carbon footprint of food. The longer food is stored and transported, the higher the chance of it spoiling and being wasted.
- Store food wisely
Avoid storing produce in the door of your refrigerator as the temperature fluctuates and thus fruit and vegetables may go off easily. Use airtight containers when storing food in the fridge and make sure that packets of dried food are tightly sealed.
- Freeze food
For example, overripe bananas can be sliced, placed in containers, then frozen. They may be used in baking and to make creamy smoothies/ice-cream. Freezing is also a simple way to preserve seasonal local fruit and vegetables which is usually cheaper and more abundant.
- Repurpose leftover foods
Make a stir fry, pasta salad, vegetable fried rice, coconut curry, bruschetta mix, potato patties, pesto with a mix of leafy greens e.g., spinach etc...
- Use the bruised fruit
Make an oat apple crumble, chocolate banana bread, carrot apple muffins, strawberry pancakes, etc...
- Join an online group
Join the online Facebook group ‘Food Swap Malta’ where individuals from all over the Maltese island swap food products.
- Check out online resources
Refer to online mediums (e.g., YouTube) and apps (e.g., Empty My Fridge - Food Waste) for recipe ideas using leftover foods.