Welcome to this week’s post on food waste.
Did you know food waste is responsible for circa 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and according the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over 70 billion pounds (lb) of food waste enters landfill every year? When people think about ways to help the environment, encourage biodiversity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they don’t usually think about the impact of food waste.
Equally important, is the unequal distribution of resources around the world, which applies to food as well as other resources. In some areas people struggle to bring enough food into their homes, whilst in other parts of the world billions of tonnes of food is being discarded. If the food ends up in landfill, for example, this leads to release of methane which is 27-30 times more potent than CO2 in its Global Warming Potential (GWP) over 100 years. The GWP is a multiple of the heat that would be absorbed by the same mass of carbon dioxide.
Food production requires the use of resources such as land, energy and water. It was estimated by WRAP, a climate action NGO, that in the UK itself, annual food waste from households and businesses amount to around 9.5Mt yet incredibly, only 30% of this waste was thrown away because it was inedible! #food waste
What can we do?
As a community we can make few simple changes to our lifestyle that may lead to less food waste being produced and promote a circular economy. These include:
plan your meals ahead and the grocery shopping; try not to overbuy
keep track of what has been used / unused so there is no waste
buy locally, direct from local suppliers – this leads to less waste and importantly keeps money in the local economy and reduces emissions from transportation
following storage instructions on the packet – use up, cook or freeze foods that are approaching their use-by date first
increase use of recyclable / refill packaging to reduce packaging / plastic usage grow your own vegetables and fruit
use home composting for food you have left over. A guide can be found here: Easy Anaerobic Composting – Grangetto’s Farm & Garden Supply (grangettos.com)
There are apps that are helping in the journey to reduce food waste, as well as provide good food that would end up being discarded at a discounted price or even free, for example ‘Too Good to Go’ Join Our Food Waste Movement (toogoodtogo.com)#Carbonbit #netzero #Sustainability circulareconomy foodwaste lovefoodhatewaste thinkdifferently