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International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

Photo by Maria Teneva on Unsplash

It’s up to us to change our habits to make not wasting food a way of life!

We live in a world where thousands of people have absolutely nothing to eat daily and depend on help to survive. On the other hand, losing or wasting food has become a habit for many people. Therefore, tons of edible food are wasted every day. This is a paradox that we must face.

The International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste is an opportunity to call to action both the public and private sector to prioritize actions and advance innovation to reduce food loss and waste to restore and rebuild better, resilient food systems.

Food loss and waste undermines the sustainability of our food systems. When food is lost or wasted, all the resources that were used to produce that food – including water, land, energy, labour and capital – are wasted. In addition, the disposal of lost food and waste in landfills leads to the emission of greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change. Food loss and waste can also negatively affect food security and food availability and contribute to increasing the cost of food.

Globally, around 14% of food produced is lost between harvest and retail. Significant amounts are also wasted at the retail and consumption level. An estimated 17% of total global food production is wasted (11% in households, 5% in food service and 2% in retail). Lost and wasted food accounts for 38% of the total energy used in the global food system.

We know that this is a chronic problem that is difficult to solve, as it involves a set of factors, including governments, public policies, global economy, systems, etc. until reaching families and our consumption habits, culture, religion, beliefs, ethnicities, etc. However, if we cannot change the world alone, we can change ourselves, and if everyone changes a little and does their part, we will certainly leave a better world for future generations. This is awareness.

For many people in the world, food waste has become a habit. They buy more food than they need in the markets, let the fruits and vegetables spoil, etc.

Find out what you can do to change that picture. Take action, start something! Please, stop food loss and waste. As suggestions, we can present the following proposals:

  1. Adopt a healthier, more sustainable diet.
  1. Buy only what you need, plan your meals. Make a shopping list and stick to it and avoid impulse purchases.
  1. Don’t buy fruits and vegetables for their appearance, even ripe and bruised ones taste the same and can be used for smoothies, juices and desserts.
  1. Store food wisely.

  1. Understand food labelling. There is a big difference between the “Best Before” and “Used By” dates. Sometimes food is still safe to eat after the “best before” date, while the “use by” date tells you when it’s no longer safe to eat.
  1. Get smaller portions at home or share large plates at restaurants.
  1. If you won’t eat everything you make, freeze it for later or use it as an ingredient in another meal.
  1. Instead of throwing away your leftover food, compose it. That way, you are returning nutrients to the soil and reducing your carbon footprint.
  1. Respect food. Food connects us all. Reconnect with food, knowing the process that goes into doing so. Read about food production and meet your farmers.
  1. Support local food producers.
  1. Prefer fish that are more plentiful.
  1. Reduce water consumption.
  1. Keep our soils and water clean.
  1. Donate food that would otherwise go to waste.

If you liked this Blog and want more information, please visit the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – FAO website at https://www.fao.org/international-day-awareness-food-loss-waste/en /








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