Food wastage is a global concern. Numerous studies highlight that wastage of food is on the rise and considerable amount of money is spent on food supplies worldwide. According to an UN report, one-third of the world's food is wasted annually, amounting to about 1.3 billion tonnes each year. The waste not only causes economic losses of $750 billion but also significant damage to the environment. According to scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, US, as much as 47 percent of the edible US seafood supply is lost each year, mainly from consumer waste.
Another study done by UK government's waste advisory body, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap), shows that since 2007 the average UK family is wasting nearly 60 Euros a month by throwing away almost an entire meal a day.
So how do we prevent food wastage? It needs to starts as a conscious effort. With more realistic food shopping techniques and sensitivity towards the food you eat, you could ensure less wastage of food at home. Here are some smart tips to get you started -
1. Do not over serve meals: This is closely connected to portion sizes. Be conscious of the amount that is served onto your plate. Small sized cutlery can be a potential saver.
2. In case of leftovers, get your thinking caps on. Soggy fruits or leftover vegetables should be converted into smoothies and shakes.
3. Make a list, shop realistically. Before heading out, keep a check on what is already at home rather than buying something that you already have. Keep impulsivity at bay.
4. Know your fridge well. Make sure it is set at an appropriate temperature. Almost all kinds of food have a shelf life. Adjusting the temperature could save the day.
5. Create compost in your garden of all the kitchen waste. It could be fruit peels, stale vegetables, tea leaves. This not only provides the plants with quality fertilisers but also minimises your kitchen waste.
Above all, inculcate a FIFO attitude- this implies "first in, first out". The products that have been stored in the fridge at an earlier date must be brought into the front so that they are visible to the naked eye, while the newer products should be pushed at the back. This keeps their expiry date under check and optimum use of the products.