How is Reducing Food Waste Sustainable?
When we think about food waste, there are two types. One is where we are wasting food at home, and another is when the food is wasted at shops. This can be due to improper storage and then the time that food is fresh and is able to be eaten. And when we prepare food, we do not use all the parts and some are wasted like that. Therefore, it is important that we try and reduce our food waste.
So how is reducing food waste sustainable? Reducing food waste is a sustainable way of life, and there are several ways to do so. Reducing the waste in the food system will provide others with a healthy source of food. More than one billion tons of food are wasted every year, and it’ll only add to the cost, greenhouse gas emissions, and overall economy. So for sustainability, it is important to reduce food waste.
- The start of the pandemic shone a big light on the global food crisis due to the lack of transport and ordering takeaways.
- From improper storage to a total lack of understanding, there are many ways that food waste occurs.
- Reducing food waste both saves you money and has a positive impact on the environment.
- Saving food as an individual may seem small, but it has the possibility to make a large impact.
Why Is Food Waste a Global Crisis?
With the start of the pandemic, a lot of shops closed up. Small businesses that used to produce locally grown food had stopped selling and all the food had gone to waste. Instead, people looked towards ordering out food, which created its own type of waste alongside wasting food. Therefore, not only we suffered, but farmers suffered as well. With food being wasted at a higher rate, it has created a global food crisis.
It is predicted that the world will soon be sacrificing its natural resources and food security with food waste. Even when we have 8 billion people in the world, we still can not feed at least 3 billion people a portion of healthy and nutritious food. And lastly, almost 690 million people are suffering from hunger. And as the pandemic hit, the current number of hungry citizens reached 822 million. With all this, global warming, ecosystem decline, and climate change is a bad edition.
How Food Waste Occurs?
There have been so many speculations and ideas when we think about waste food. But there are some reasons why so much food is wasted every year. And here they are:
1. Improper storage
The most common reason why food waste is because of how we store them. The storage systems are not made for a certain environment, but people will still use them. Food will remain on the shelves of stores for weeks without being consumed, and eventually, have to be thrown out because they are not fresh anymore!
2. Capitalist society
There is no doubt that capitalism has helped us grow, but in the long term, the best solution does not lie in a capitalist society. A capitalist society promotes profit and does not care about food waste. For example, the fast food industry wastes so much food just to be able to earn a profit. And as a capitalist society, we are accepting this food waste instead of making something out of our waste.
3. Lack of transport
This lacking was most visible during 2019-2020. Due to the commotion, most of the transport was off, and thus the produced products were not transported to the needy. And unfortunately, a huge shortage just leads to more food waste.
Technology can be a blessing and a curse. Due to a lack of technology, food products cannot be sustained. But because of the extra food produced in certain places, it is not distributed equally. They end up gathering at the same place. And it will lead to food waste.
5. Less migration of the food
Food can be anything from plant to animal-based. But as different countries are stated in other regions, they also have different sources. And due to God’s grace, some have more food than they can consume. But as the policymakers are not paying along, the food is not delivered to the needy. It was estimated that the food migration and adaptation policy could be increased by 25% from different countries.
6. Lack of understanding
Though only a few countries in the world leaders and are in charge, even they lack the basics. The basic knowledge of sharing is not innate in people. Food waste is unethical. But children are taught only in the classroom, not as a region. So a large amount of food is wasted due to a lack of understanding.
How Is Reducing Food Waste Sustainable?
Well, food waste is practically unethical and not suitable for humans or the environment. But how can food waste reduction help with the overall sustainability of the world? Here are some thoughts:
1. Saving money:
When you reduce food waste, you are really limiting your budget. Firstly, you are spending less on labor for storing, producing, and transporting the products. Donations can be added to the tax benefits in some countries. So you’ll be saving a percentage of the revenue by donating extra. Energy savings are another thing that has to be included when we want to reduce food waste.
2. Job opportunities:
When you want to recycle food or just reprocess the food, you will go for a new build and management. There would be more opportunities for the workforce, and more people would get involved. New businesses and infrastructure will rise, and the local communities will even lead the way in sustainability.
3. Reduce the amount of waste food in landfills:
About 95% of the wasted food is transported to landfills. These landfills tend to create methane gas, which would eventually impact climate change. Reducing food waste will make the whole process sustainable and help maintain a lower carbon footprint.
4. Feed the world:
There are so many people who are dying of hunger and malnutrition in the world. When you provide the wasted food to those people, it is estimated that the food loss will not matter.
5. Save resources:
Labor, pesticides, compost, gas, water, land, etc., are needed when you are about to produce foods. And when you limit production, you reduce the usage of the resources. This will end up costing less and reducing food waste.
6. Soil regulation:
Almost all plant and animal-based foods for humans are mostly related to the soil. When you start to produce too much food, this will take a toll on the land. But with less food production, the land will be intact and healthy.
How to Reduce Food Waste as an Individual?
The charity will start from home when you want to reduce food waste. Some personal initiatives will reduce the amount of food waste and eventually serve the greater good. Here are some ways that you can reduce food waste:
- Buy what you need: Overspending is never a good sign. Especially when you are shopping for food, try to maintain a budget. You should spend the budget for a maximum of a week and finish it before you go for another round. Impulse buying should be avoided in the case of food products.
- Ignore the labels sometimes: When you are buying plant-based produce, try and follow through until the food is consumable. Most of the labels would come with an expiration date. But when you store them properly, they last a long time. So don’t let the labels guide you; rather, follow your instincts.
- Storage system: This is the central theme of reducing food waste. Moving the older products forward and using cool places or even a refrigerator for the food is a game changer. The food will stay fresh for a long and will not be spoiled.
- Use the leftovers: Another way to reduce food waste is by repurposing the leftovers. You can pack them for the next day’s lunch or just stir-fry them to make something new out of them. Even in restaurants, asking for the leftovers is polite.
- Plant-based food: Growing your own makes a huge difference instead of buying the product. Gardening can be soothing and less time-consuming, which would help the overall process of sustainability.
The main benefit of reducing food waste would be to ensure nutrition for everyone in the world, but it would also have a destructive impact on the environment.
Sustainable food sources will help with the overall process of climate change, energy savings, etc. Wasting food will only add to the bad impressions created by the environment.
Sustainable facts can be of different types, but when it comes to food waste, the terms are very well defined. The whole fiasco regarding food waste is a huge problem. So even when you try to shorten the terms, the ideas would still play unsafe because the reduction of shortage should be started from the core. Measuring food waste and preventing them is a mass implementation but you can also start by reducing your wasted food. It starts small but it has a big impact.
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