|Image from here|
In developing nations this occurs for a combination of poor harvesting techniques, limited cooling, inefficient cooling etc. All things before the consumer level.
In wealthier countries, like Australia it is more likely because of a combination of over-rigorous food quality (which rejects otherwise good food for being imperfect in shape or size) standards and consumers who buy more than they need.
The biggest contributors to consumer wastage are:
1. Poor food planning
2. Poor food preparation
3. Not using a shopping list when getting groceries
4. Not using your own shopping bags
It doesn't matter how guilty you feel about wasting food nor how 'green' you report to be. If you don't purchase only what will be eaten and plan your meals, you will inevitably waste food. You need to be a conscious consumer.
We have really been focusing on reducing our food wastage at Casa Four. Some of the tips and tricks we have been exploring follow:
1. Get creative with leftovers. Got some stale bread? Make breadcrumbs or pudding. Got leftover veggies? Use them to create a stew or soup the next night.
2. Start your shopping list by looking in your fridge or pantry. Create meals from the food you already have by just getting the missing stuff at the shops.
3. Take your own shopping bags to do your shopping. It is no coincidence that shops willingly give away plastic bags. It is so you will make impulse purchases.
4. Store your food safely. Reusable containers that are airtight are ideal (made from reusable materials like glass, even better)
Don't think you are wasting much food? Try this "Penalty Tin" suggestion I found at www.simplesavings.com.au. Grab a tin from the recycling bin and label it "The Penalty Tin". From then on, whenever you throw out an item of food, put its monetary value into the tin. For example, throwing out a litre of milk results in $1.00 being put in the tin. Do this for a week. You may be surprised at how much money you are literally throwing in the bin! And if that isn't incentive to change your habits, I don't know what is.
Do you have any other food wastage reduction suggestions to share?