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Do you really know the volume and knock-on effects of food waste?

Thursday, December 17, 2020 8:48 AM | Valentina Vélez Rivera (Administrator)

By Tina O’Hagan Foodservice Design and Business Consultancy

Today, an estimated one-third of all the food produced in the world goes to waste. That is equal to about 1.3 billion tons of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, seafood, and grains that either never leave the farm, get lost or spoiled during distribution, or are thrown away in hotels, grocery stores, restaurants, schools, or home kitchens. It could be enough calories to feed every undernourished person on the planet.

But wasted food isn't just a social or humanitarian concern it's an environmental one. When we waste food, we also waste all the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package it. And if food goes to the landfill and rots, it produces methane a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide. About 11% of all the greenhouse gas emissions that come from the food system could be reduced if we stop wasting food!

As the world’s population continues to grow, our challenge should not be how to grow more food, but to feed more people while wasting less of what we already produce!

Thankfully, there are plenty of actions we can take at the consumer level to make a significant difference. From delivering leftovers to those in need, to freezing food, shopping smarter, and composting to keep inedible scraps out of landfills, we can all take responsibility.

Preventing food waste is the most effective way to shrink its impact on the planet. If we avoid producing food that we don't eat, we can save the land, water, and energy that would have been used to make it. And awareness is a good first step educating consumers about food waste could prevent 2.3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, adopting circular economy principles to prevent food waste is the first step.

What is the circular economy?

circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy where (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products.For businesses adopting circular models, benefits include greater efficiency and profitability, less waste and cost, better innovation, and stronger relationships with customers.

However, for many the concept of circular economy models and the shift required in mindset and business processes can seem overwhelming, there is a need for a greater understanding of what circular economy means and how businesses are successfully adopting circular models.

By fighting food waste through a circular economy model, there is a real advantage to be gained for business, communities, and the environments in which we live, work and grow.

As local businesses having a better understanding of the negative impacts of food waste, they become more armed with knowledge to make positive choices. There are many off the shelf solutions available to turn food waste into a resource, and keep it away from landfill, whilst reducing your carbon footprint, but first we all need to be mindful and take responsibility on how we are creating food waste.

For more information on food waste solutions for businesses and good practice programs contact Tina at email




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