Reducing Food Waste: Some Practical Recommendations

Is it a habit to throw away food because of its appearance, forgetfulness in the refrigerator, or simply because you didn't like it or served yourself too much?

Reducing Food Waste: Some Practical Recommendations
Tips to avoid food waste and its contribution to food security. Photo by Markus Spiske / Unsplash

Natural resources have been compromised for years due to overexploitation, deforestation, lack of crop rotation, climate change, natural disasters, ecosystem change, rising global temperatures, droughts, overpopulation, and pandemics, among other factors, all of which have a direct impact on food production.

All this, together with the enormous challenge of meeting the food needs of the population by the year 2050, when it is estimated that there will be ten billion people who will demand 50% more agricultural products than those currently produced.

Will it be possible to reach this goal if we continue with the same habits as today?

Of course, it will be difficult to reach it; however, we can start by doing our bit by taking steps to avoid wasting food at home.

Why do we allow our food to spoil at home?

Approximately 1.3 billion tons of food intended for human consumption ends up being wasted every year. These losses can occur from production, post-harvest handling, storage, processing, distribution, and consumption, which occurs during purchase, preparation, and ingestion at home.2

Have you become accustomed to throwing away food because it looks bad, forgotten in the refrigerator, or simply because you didn't like it or served yourself too much?

These bad habits compromise natural resources and agricultural production, as we demand more than we need. In addition, we do not value the effort of the producer, the water invested, the nutrients we are wasting, and the pollution generated by its transportation, among other factors.

What can we do to change this situation?

Buy only what is needed.

How can we do this? By planning the week's meals, making a list of the ingredients and portions that are needed, and buying them without going beyond that list or the portions; this will also benefit our pocket.

Choose fruits and vegetables regardless of their appearance.

Most people discard at first sight fruits and vegetables that are deformed, deformed, or simply because they have a stalk on their peel, when in fact we can give them multiple uses such as processing them into desserts, juices, smoothies, and jams, among others (besides, they have the same flavor).

Respecting food.

It is important to value the entire production chain of that tomato, carrot, or banana that we are about to throw away. If we think about all the resources used for their production, the effort of the farmer, and our own to acquire the food, we can make more conscious decisions.

PEPS System

This acronym stands for First In, First Out, which means consuming what has been stored the longest and then the food we have acquired most recently.

These are just some of the recommendations we can put into practice to reduce food waste. Let's be aware of the current environmental situation and let's take action to achieve the changes that are within our reach and invite the people close to us to collaborate.

Source: CIAD