Food waste is such a topical issue today, and rightly so - we’re in dire need of effective solutions to help protect the planet.
Of course, not only will preventing food waste help the environment, but it’ll help with food security too.
So, here are a few ways we can all do our bit.
Spreading the word about the issue is the easiest to do at home, especially through initiatives like the ‘International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste’.
Introduced in 2020, it’s now held on the 29th September every year as an opportunity to raise awareness of the problem, and to encourage people to act.
Not only is this day run jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), but the UN General Assembly also made 2021 the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables in an attempt to raise further awareness.
Technology can also come in useful, using Artificial Intelligence to help with food’s storage and shelf life, for example.
And, for retailers, using markers to sell excess food and help predict inventory items that are about to expire is a great step towards cutting down waste.
Supporting developing countries is also important - they may not have the storage facilities to deal with food waste at retail or consumption level.
It’s already written in the Sustainable Development Goals that developing countries will have support in strengthening their science and technology to help move towards a more sustainable way of life.
However, by helping to educate, we can also make a difference - teaching about responsible consumption, for example, or about reusing, recycling, composting and effective food storage.
Obviously, it’s a great thing to have all these food waste solutions planned, but it’s just as important to have a way of monitoring their progress to make sure they stick.
The introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the use of programs such as One Planet, seem to have been rather successful so far, and there’s even been an SCP Hotspots Analysis Tool introduced to help UN member countries.
So, preventing food waste is certainly possible, but it’s reliant on having all the right frameworks put in place, and having support from authorities and governments.
That’s why it’s so important for us to raise awareness and encourage authorities to act.
Let’s all do our bit to help, and we can fight food waste together.