Why we need to think about reducing food waste

Welcome to #TRVSTLOVES. We curate news, stories, ideas and inspiration from across the world which demonstrate how real action can accomplish positive social impact. In this edition, we’re looking at creative and innovative ways in which we can reduce our food waste.

South Korea leads with inspiring food waste initiatives

South Korea’s food waste reduction plans are pretty inspiring. Starting with an eco-friendly urban farm last year, they've now developed a system which turns food waste into fertiliser. It’s such a simple concept, yet even seemingly simple concepts need great people to push ideas through to implementation. The government has also made it mandatory for all food waste to be thrown away in purchased biodegradable bags in order to discourage food waste.

WRAP's research suggests that almost a third of all food produced in the world is lost or wasted. If you take the time to think about that stat, it's truly shocking. A lot is going to need to change, but if at home we can start with small changes to our habits and the way in which we buy and consume food, it would be a start.

How we can all make an effort to reduce food waste

food waste collective

Some rather simple yet effective ways here of how we can all make an effort to cut our food waste. You’ll find some sobering statistics on the UN’s Food and Agricultural website, for example: “every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa”. Yet we do need to know this stuff. So these tips to save food waste may not seem like a lot, but we do all need to do our part. We love some of these ideas like freezing your vegetables or turning leftovers into sauces and dips!

The food labelling debate continues

food label best before

The debate about "best before" and expiry dates on food is an interesting one. On one hand, no one wants to eat something that could make them ill, but on the other, are we throwing away so much more than necessary and contributing to a waste mountain? Scott Nash, a grocer in the US, decided to conduct a year-long experiment eating expired food. Nash reported no illnesses at all, which is rather thought-provoking isn’t it? Scientists have called for better education to reduce food waste, so here’s hoping we can move towards a more balanced and sensible approach as to how long we keep food before throwing it out.

Zero Waste Scotland: education is key

Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) has launched a new collaborative project which aims to reduce food waste. The two year scheme has a food officer working with different schools, businesses, universities and community groups to support them in meeting the food waste targets set by the Scottish Government. Education is vital when it comes to helping and encouraging people to change their habits, it’s the best place to start. By suggesting new ways of doing something, these new routines will become the norm and passed down to the next generations, so a big thumbs up from us!

EU project creates an information hub on how to reduce food waste

Following a number of other EU projects, "STREFOWA" (Strategies to reduce and manage food waste in Central Europe) is a hub of information offering advice and best practices to reduce food waste. Their interactive #reducefoodwaste tool takes you to some really great initiatives including "Eat Wise with Leftovers" and "I'm not a Waster". There's so much sharing of information here, and it's great to have it all in one place making it accessible and easy for people to educate themselves.

Sam is a professional writer with a particular interest in promoting sustainable practices for small businesses.
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