13 Sep Beating Food Waste
Our food system globally is pretty broken. Yes we can go to the grocery store daily and pick up anything we want. Its really quite extraordinary. All the food is fresh, clean and without any signs of imperfection. We take it home an pack our fridges full, but sometimes we forget what we put at the back of the fridge and we end up throwing it out.
We throw away (on average) 1 in 5 grocery bags that we buy. The amount of energy and transporation it takes to grown and get our food all the way from the field to our table, means we actually wasting a whole lot more than we think.
Here are some global facts on food waste:
- One third of all food produced for human consumption worldwide ends up as waste – that equals 1.3 billion tons each year
- Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tonnes) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tonnes).
- Food rotting in landfill creates Methane, which is 23 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. The vast amount of food going to landfills makes a significant contribution to global warming.
These facts come from The UNEP
To me this just isn’t working, so what can we do about it. Well, I truly believe creativity can solve the worlds problems.
Here are a few creative examples that I have come across, and one simple recipe that can come in handy when seasonal produce is abundant and maybe going to waste. 1. The inglorious fruits and vegetables… staring
A major supermarket in France as part of the EU’s year against food waste (in 2014), started an amazing campaign to get people to buy fruit and veg that don’t look so perfect, and would otherwise be thrown away, and they sold it for 30% cheaper… and it is a hit. Check out their amazing short video clip here. Ingenuity at its finest!
2. Eat tip to tail and root to stem. A movement to inspire people to use every part of an animal or vegetable when cooking. So many of those veggie scraps we chuck away can actually become a part of a very tasty dish.
A few ideas : Citrus Peels -Organic thin-skinned peels can be oven-dried at 200 degrees, then stored to season stews or tomato sauces.
Potatoe Peel – Deep-fry large pieces of peel in 350-degree oil and sprinkle with salt and paprika. This works best with potatoes like russets.
Check out more great tips from this article from the NYtimes.
3. Stock your fridge and pantry like the grocery store. New food to the back and old stuff to the front. Do this every time and eliminate the need for stuff to be thrown in the bin from the back of the fridge.
Creativity is your only limit when it comes to reducing food waste.
When there is surplus seasonal produce, there are lots of ways to make it last. One really easy and simple thing I recently tried with my Mother back in Canada was to make Bread and Butter Pickles, with all the surplus cucumbers from the farmers markets… and My Oh My are they tasty and easy.
You can find the recipe here.
There are so many great ways to reduce food waste, easily preserve what is seasonal and compost – all leading to a reduction in the amount of food waste going into landfill. So come back regularly, for more ideas and ways to reduce waste. Also please share any ideas you have on reducing the amount of food we throw away!
Cathy HallPosted at 11:22h, 15 September
Great article Jamie. One thing I have been meaning to do is join the local ‘dumpster diving’ fraternity here in Freo. I am well over any concerns about freshness etc as Freo friends have shared with me their benefits! I think I’m ready to take the challenge and would like to connect with a dumpster diving ‘group outing. Is there a local FB site for this?
Jamie Van JonesPosted at 14:52h, 20 October
Hi Cathy, I’m not sure, but we should start one!
Kim VealePosted at 14:14h, 22 September
Loved this post Jamie! As more people start sharing ideas on how to reduce food waste, as well as composting food scraps to make their own fertiliser we will hopefully see a shift away from organics ending up in landfill and instead more valuable nutrients going back into the soil. Rapt to hear you guys are having such a fantastic trip! Xxk
Jamie Van JonesPosted at 14:52h, 20 October
Thanks Kim, we had a fantastic and eye opening trip. Lots of inspiration from our travels that I can’t wait to share!
Mildred WheelerPosted at 22:44h, 18 March
Extremely informative post! I like the way you summarized all the important points about waste and how to deal with it. Thanks a lot for sharing!!