STOP FOOD WASTE DAY | 24 April 2019
Is this a wake up call?
Wasting 53 million tons of meat – where is this ending up?
Have we considered what are we doing to mother Earth?
What happens when we dump all this excess meat on our precious planet every year?
What about the 75 million cows that are bred for the purpose of ending up as waste in landfill or incinerators?
Why have we got these statistics yet very few of us know about them?
What is the cost to society when billions of eggs end up in the trash which we call food waste?
What if that money could be spent building an infrastructure that supported communities to be educated about food and the harm of excess eating and waste?
The official Stop Food Waste Day is about educating and igniting change regarding the global food waste epidemic that we are currently facing.
The goal is to draw attention to the problem as well as create and share creative and impactful solutions.
Educated consumers can have tremendous influence on how we –
farm | produce | buy | store | use our food (2)
|Food Loss||occurs between production and retail|
|Food Waste||occurs between consumption and retail (3)|
So how are we going to start educating the world about the global food waste, which has now reached crisis point?
How can we ignite change in others regarding the global food waste epidemic that we are facing right now?
Will our creative solutions work?
Will our impactful solutions cut it?
As a world we have become masters with our solutions but will that be the long term answer, if we are being Honest?
It would be wise for any reader to take note and read our blog on this website about Solutions
Are solutions the band aid to the bullet wound because it never gets to the root of the problem?
Should we be asking WHY have we got this food waste problem in the first place and where did it start?
Do we need to track back and get to the very root cause of why this is happening and then work on a Simple way to deal with the problem?
What if by finding out the root cause we get the real benefits as the problem can no longer spread, as we know how we got there and can take the steps to stop it?
What if dealing with any issue at the root is the way to end the band aid approach of solutions, which we all know is not the true answer to our ills and problems on earth?
Is this just a big fat number or can we comprehend what $940,000,000,000 actually means?
This number tells us we are very close to Food Loss and Waste becoming a trillion dollar annual economic loss?
What does that mean to those struggling to buy food because of their circumstances?
Who are the people in the systems that make the rules and create the laws?
Can we have a chat with them and give them this blog to read, so they can help us to deal with the problem?
If we look at the Politics around the world, we keep hearing of cutbacks to funding, but this statistic alone is showing us the waste on just food alone?
Who is doing the sums because it looks like they cannot add up the losses that we could save and put to good use where it is needed for the people?
While we wait for the kingpins and bigwigs to balance the economy books of our country, could we start by looking at the food waste we have in our own homes?
What if simply addressing food waste in our own life everyday would make producers realise we don’t want to eat more, so they can stop making the excess and selling it to the retailers?
Bingo – sorted !
What if we don’t need campaigning, fighting and creating solutions because we can do our bit – in the name of RESPONSIBILITY?
Food waste is one area where we could say with a dose of honesty that our world has seriously Lost the Plot.
What about all the other waste like –
Historic window of opportunity opened to boost the issue of food loss and waste reduction onto the global agenda.
At the United Nations General Assembly, countries of the world formally adopted a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals as part of the post 2015 Development Agenda – global goals to end poverty | protect the planet | ensure prosperity for all.
“By 2030 halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses” (4)
While we wait for the food loss and waste to be discussed on the global agenda of the United Nations – can we get on the front foot and just start looking at the amount of food we are buying and wasting on a daily basis?
What if by 2030 we would not need to even halve the global food waste thing because we are doing it at the micro level – in our own individual homes every day?
Add to that we are talking about it to neighbours, friends and using Social Media in a responsible way to share what we live and this does the job?
This of course would mean lots of important people working in positions of power would be out of work and the producers would need less staff, as we are no longer wasting and buying or eating excess.
We have a Global Food Waste epidemic
This means it is a widespread occurrence of an undesirable phenomenon.
For the record it is happening right now and a wise move would be to continue reading what this blog is presenting.
Why is the cause of Food Waste in Question now?
How have we got Global Food Waste to an epidemic level and not clocked it before?
WHY have we not considered before that how are we living as individuals every day is contributing to Global Food Waste?
WHY have we made it a problem for others but not once thought it had anything to do with us living in our households?
WHY are we ok with trashing food because we simply can?
WHY are we ok with the food waste industry doing what they have to but never ever questioning it?
WHY have we left it up to the policy makers when it comes to our food waste and then find out they are not on the front foot?
WHY are we not being educated from day dot about the importance of food waste?
WHY are we a culture wanting more food than is naturally needed?
WHY are we a society that bops along in life paying no attention to what happens with all that food we keep on wasting?
WHY have we not bothered to tell our kids that food waste is something that never existed with our ancestors?
WHY are we banging on about climate change and wanting to do something about it when we could all start with looking at our daily food waste?
How on earth have we got to this point where we are wasting billions of tons of food costing us BILLIONS $$ ££ €€
= ONE THIRD OF TOTAL AMOUNT OF FOOD PRODUCED GLOBALLY
= 10 x the mass of the island of Manhattan
Annual food loss and waste estimate by BCG –
2.1 BILLION TONS WORTH $1.500,000,000,000 (5)
66 TONNES THROWN AWAY PER SECOND (6)
REPORT BY BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP (BCG)
Unless urgent action is taken by governments, companies and consumers, the report warns there is little chance of meeting UN targets to halve food waste by 2030.
Over this period, food loss and waste are projected to increase in most regions around the world, with a significant spike in Asia, according to the study.
“Countries that are industrializing and have a growing population will see the largest increases. As wealth grows, people are demanding more food, more diverse food, food that is not grown locally. That is going to increase food loss and waste.”
Shalini Unnikrishnan | Managing Director – BCG (6)
While in developing countries waste occurs during production processes, in wealthy countries waste is mostly driven by retailers and consumers, who throw away food because they have purchased too much or because it does not meet aesthetic standards.
There is more awareness of food loss and waste but the global response so far is inadequate. (6)
So here we have the super bigwigs of strategic planning warning governments and companies that urgent action is needed by all and that includes us – the consumers.
Would it be true to say that our response is not adequate because we have not even bothered to respond to the call, which is telling us we need to do something about our food waste on every level?
The call is that we have the awareness of food loss and waste as this consulting company is telling us but not responded, hence the mess we are in right now.
They are also saying there is little chance of United Nations meeting their 2030 targets if things continue as they are.
The managing director is saying there is a link with us having more money to spend on diverse food and that demand means we end up not eating the locally grown food, which adds to the food loss and waste problem.
If we think about it, our land around and what we produce in our own country is there for a purpose – to provide what we need throughout each season of the year.
With the rise of wealth we want more of what is produced in another country and that means we demand and the suppliers give it to us.
But what does that mean for the locally grown food – where does that end up and why are we no longer interested in buying food just from our home country?
We bang on about climate change and the carbon footprint of aeroplanes but have we considered the cargo planes that we never hear about that are busy every single day transporting the food we demand because we want it all year round?
Have we ever looked at our shopping trolley and seen how much of our food is not produced in our own country?
Food industry produces more than 4 times the amount needed by the population. Most of the food produced is thrown away.
On average, customers purchase more food than what is needed, generating more demand and ultimately more supply than necessary, thus creating a never-ending cycle of mass production and consumption. (8)
An area larger than China is used to grow food that is never eaten every day
25% world’s freshwater supply is used to grow the food that is never eaten
21 billion people in our world go hungry
25% of the food wasted in US | UK | Europe | could feed ALL of them
If food waste were a country –
it would be third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and US
UK has 27 million household –
25 million slices bread | 6 million potatoes | 1.4 million bananas
thrown away every day
50% all food waste happening at home in most developed countries
Vast majority food waste ends up in landfill
When food waste decomposes without access to oxygen, which it does in landfill – it creates methane.
Methane is 23 x deadly than CO2
Methane is a serious problem for our climate change (7)
CO2 colourless | odourless | non-combustible greenhouse-gas
It can create lethal oxygen-deficient environments in high concentrations in confined spaces and is said to be the cause of changes in global climatic patterns. (9)
Why is this not making any sense?
Do we realise that our world is not short of food yet some do not have enough to eat every day?
Are we all aware that just the food that we are wasting every day at home could end the food poverty in our world?
Food is wasted at every stage from farm to table – at times based on how it looks
In fields, unpicked “ugly” produce is left to rot
Grocery stores – workers reject blemished edible fruits and vegetables
Homes – we ignore leftovers | throw out perishables before expiry date (10)
What is this nonsense about ugly food just left to rot because we only want the eye candy stuff when we buy?
WHY are we ok rejecting something that is not pleasing or desirable to our eyes?
How many of us would not know the difference if we were served up home-made food that was ugly to look at when it was purchased?
WHY have we become so silly with our behaviour about Perfect looking food and where does this all come from?
WHY are our ingrained beliefs about throwing out food so deep that we just keep on doing it?
WHY are we never stopping long enough in our busy life to Question all this food waste stuff?
WHY are we raising children with no real education or awareness of what food waste is all about?
WHY are we busy entertaining others and offering heaps of food choices knowing some of it will end up in the bin?
Have we ever considered the huge menus at restaurants and what happens to all the food that is not used?
World’s Total Food Waste
46.2% Potatoes | Beets | Radishes | Carrots
45.7% Fruits | Vegetables
34.7% Tuna | Salmon | Shrimp | other Seafood
29.1% Cereal | Bread | Rice
22.1% Lentils | Green Peas | Chickpeas | Seeds for oil
21.5% Chicken | Beef | Pork
17.1% Milk | Yoghurt | Cheese (10)
Proportion of food waste highest in western countries
Developing countries more likely to suffer from food loss
222 million tons food waste every year – consumers in rich countries
Equivalent to the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa
95 – 115kg a year per capita waste by consumers Europe | North America
6 – 11kg for consumers in sub-Saharan Africa | South and South Eastern Asia (3)
41% of all food waste comes from restaurants and pubs (12)
720 million edible eggs thrown away because of “best before” date
£139 million is the cost – 3 times more than in 2008
The Food Standards Agency has said that eggs can be safely eaten up to two days past the date provided, if cooked to the point where yolk and white are solid. (13)
Study by the University of Edinburgh
The study blamed the waste on the domination of supermarket buying power in the food system.
Researchers found despite the recent launch of so called “wonky” or “ugly” fruit and vegetable ranges in supermarkets, produce was being routinely ploughed back into fields or sent to landfill or anaerobic digestion. (14)
Anaerobic digestion is the process by which organic matter such as animal or food waste is broken down to produce biogas and biofertiliser. This process happens in the absence of oxygen in a sealed, oxygen-free tank called an anaerobic digester.
It is recognised as one the best methods for food waste recycling and dealing with farm waste. (15)
$1,600 family spends each year on food thrown into the bin (8)
2.5 million people in New York struggle to have enough to eat
New York state passes Landmark Food Waste Bill
The Food Donation and Food Scrap Recycling Act is a new act coming into effect in New York.
The Act requires the largest generators of food waste across the state to separate any excess wholesome food for donation and recycle any remaining food scraps.
This is a new mandate across the state (16)
New study – the first of its kind to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources, instead of estimates
Martin Gooch – Value Chain Management International (18)
Study released 17 January 2019
$50 billion – value of usable groceries that wind up in landfills or other disposable sites.
Enough to feed every Canadian for 5 months
22 million tonnes of climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions are produced from avoidable food waste.
21% of avoidable waste – Canadian kitchens are responsible
$1,700 per household
4 million people struggle for regular meals
We have cheapened it so much that it doesn’t have value any more…
We need to go back to that valuing of food.
Lori Nikkel – Second Harvest | Toronto based group working to reduce food waste (18)
1 in 5 shopping bags end up in the bin =
$3,800 worth of groceries per household
35% average household bin is food waste
4 million people experience food insecurity each year
25% are children (19)
Food insecurity is the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable nutritious food. (20)
56% throw out food every week
75% adults admit being food wasters
“It is the forgotten leftovers and spoiled fresh produce contributing the most to Australia’s food-waste problem. Aussies have good intentions when it comes to consuming their food but modern life gets in the way.”
Nicole Norton – FoodSaver ANZ Brand Manager (21)
Many fail to make the connection between their food-waste worries and their own behaviour.
50% are concerned about food waste in general
73% feel guilty and frustrated about food waste
33% concerned about own personal food waste
51% feel motivated to reduce their food waste in 2019
49% start planning meals better
38% use current produce before buying new food
36% use better storage to prevent food going off (21)
Rice and noodles most commonly wasted food when people eat out
Reasons for not finishing their food were –
Portions too big
They did not eat some of the ingredients
They chose to buy more than enough food
They wanted a wider variety
National Environment Agency (NEA) (23)
Food waste is one of the five largest sources of waste
The National Environment Agency (NEA) hopes to get people to adopt three habits when eating out so as to combat wastage.
It encourages people to only order what they can finish; ask for less rice or noodles if they are unable to eat that much; say ‘no’ to side dishes they will not consume.
NEA will be reaching out to people at cooked food centres, supermarkets, school and institutions of higher learning. (22)
150 schools organised food waste reduction activities
We would like to create a pervasive culture where everyone will
have an instinct to ‘buy, order and cook just enough’
encourage their friends and family to do the same
influence the practices and behaviours at workplaces to reduce food waste
Tan Meng Dui – NEA Chief Executive Officer (22)
What if we had the Social Media influencers who seem to affect the masses bringing food waste to our attention?
What if to be a real influencer it requires us to really walk the talk?
In other words, we have to live and be the change we want to see in this world and that is the real inspiration for others.
Food production industries
Note – wet markets are places that sell dead and live animals out in the open
Most of the waste ends up in landfill
The government had planned to build incinerators but the public opposes it due to the likely hazardous effects.
It also proposed to implement waste charging but there is no timetable yet
For now, the only Solution is to expand the current landfill sites
Experts say it is not a solution in the long term (24)
Why is this not making any sense?
A third of ALL the waste is ending up in landfill and this is just one country in our world.
The experts are saying having more landfill sites is not going to work in the long term. In other words, the solution we have got lined up is not going to do the job.
Where is this food waste problem going to end up for Hong Kong?
Who are we looking to for true change and real answers to this growing epidemic that is not going away?
This blog has presented some serious questions for us all to consider as we have a global food waste epidemic.
This website is bringing awareness to all of us about what on earth is going on in our world.
We as humanity have been given a wake up call and it is up to each and every one of us as individuals to respond when we are ready.
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(13) Parker, C. (2019, April 9). More than 720m Eggs are Thrown Away Needlessly. The Times. p. 4
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