Call to reduce food waste

KARACHI: Total food losses have been estimated at 1.3 billion tons per year, which represents roughly one-third of the world food production for human consumption. The economic value of food losses and waste amounts to $680 billion in industrialized countries and $310 billion in developing countries. In total, food loss and waste amount to one trillion dollars globally.

According to Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of United States, Lost and wasted food represents a missed opportunity to feed the growing world population. It also comes at a steep environmental price, as land quality, water quantity, biodiversity are adversely affected. Wasted food also has a strong impact on global climate change.

An estimated 25 percent of all food calories are wasted each year, and some of that you can stop from happening. Many of us are unaware of our wasteful habits when it comes to food. With about 9 billion people expected on Earth by 2050 now is a good time to re-examine our food behaviour and make a few changes.

Buy only what you need. This may sound obvious, but sometimes it is hard to follow. Think about your week and plan accordingly. Make a shopping list and stick to it. That way you’ll minimize your costs and waste less food.

Don’t throw away perfectly good food. “Best by” and “use by” dates are useful (though more for the retailer than for the consumer), but they are only estimates. To find out how long food really stays fresh use websites like Still Tasty. It will give you the real breakdown on the food in your fridge.

Store food properly. Ensure that food is stored in refrigerators and air-tight containers. Reduce or share your portions. Ask for a half-portion if you don’t think you can eat a full serving in a restaurant. And don’t be shy about asking to take home your leftovers. Share your food with others or have a dinner party with your recycled food.

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