Food loss and waste is one of the issues that concerns us all as it is part of our daily lives, but there are some ways that we can help reduce it. In order to do this we need to know what the difference between food loss and food waste is and where we encounter these phenomenon.
Food loss, according to the FAO, is a reduction in the quantity or quality of food. This results from decisions and actions of those who form a marketing channel. The marketing channel consists of the suppliers of products in food chains (other than retailers), those who provide food services and consumers.
Food loss refers to all those foods that are in any way adulterated during their transportation through the marketing channel. It also refers to those products that are discarded, incinerated or not returned to any other productive use, such as animal feed or seed. It should be noted that food losses occur from the time of harvesting to the time of consumption by buyers. Food loss takes place:
- During the harvesting of the products.
- During their processing and standardisation.
- In their storage areas.
- During their distribution.
Did you know that:
- One third of food production for human consumption is wasted worldwide which translates into 1.3 billion tonnes per year.
- The food that is not consumed also wastes resources such as soil, water and energy, which contributes to global warming.
Food waste refers to the reduction in the quantity or quality of food resulting from decisions and actions by retailers, food service providers and consumers (source: FAO). Products that do not meet certain consumer preferences are usually discarded and consequently thrown away. The main reasons are the shape, size and colour of the products. In many cases it is observed that edible products that are not used or are leftovers are discarded. Such cases include
How can we reduce food waste?
First of all, it should be mentioned that the less food waste we have, the more effective our efforts to protect the environment and reduce waste (organic and non-organic) can be. Our goal is to create a sustainable environment, safer in every respect and cleaner. After all, let us not forget that everything ends up either in the atmosphere, in the soil or in the seas. But there are some ways in which we can reduce food waste in our homes. Below are some ideas:
- Meal planning (day or week), so you don’t buy more than you need therefore reducing waste while saving money.
- If you don’t have enough food, you will be able to eat less and therefore reduce the amount of food you consume and save money.
- Use food you already have and use imagination.
- Cook as many portions as you need.
- If you have leftover food share it with friends, neighbours or people in need.
- Anything that can be used elsewhere don’t throw it away, for example citrus peels.
- Keep an eye on the expiry date of products.
- Check food that has the slightest bit of spoilage because if you leave it, it will
Don’t forget from the smallest actions we can change everything!