According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), almost a third of the world’s food production is lost or discarded.
As it would sound banal, but there are regions where people are actually starving, have little or no food, and lack drinking water. In the “civilized” world, meanwhile:
- global food waste amounts to 1.6 billion tons per year;
- In the European Union (EU) – 88 million tons;
- According to preliminary estimates, each EU citizen throws away about 173 kg of food each year;
- Although one in five of them is poor in Lithuania, every person throws away about 40 to 100 kilograms of food waste a year, and 6 kilograms of it is completely usable.
Every fifth person in Lithuania throws away food every two weeks, every second at least once a month. As much as half of all food emissions come from households. It has also been found that we throw away a lot of food after family holidays.
How to reduce leftovers and food waste at home?
You do not need a radical change in Your lifestyle and habits. There are a few simple rules You can follow to significantly reduce food waste:
- Plan your weekly shopping and go to the store with a shopping list – this way You will buy less unplanned products that You do not use later. Of course, keeping a shopping list is important 😊
- And do not go to the store hungry! Because a hungry buyer tends to spontaneously buy more unplanned food.
- Plan your holiday table menu in advance so You could buy the right amount of food more accurately and reduce wasted food after the holidays.
- Keep your refrigerator and dry product shelves clean – when You manage, You’ll know what products You still have, which ones don’t, expire soon and need to be used urgently. That way, You won’t have expired products in Your home.
What does food labeling mean?
There are 2 food validity labels in Lithuania – “best before” and “use by”. For many, the question is, what do they mean?
- “Best before” means that it would be good to consume the product before the time indicated on the label, but nothing terrible if it is eaten later. This is usually written on the labels of long-lasting products.
- “Use by” means the expiry date of the product.
What do we lose by throwing away food?
Wasting food is not just a waste of money and time. In order for the food to be on the store shelf, we have to cut down the forest and cultivate the field to grow fodder, vegetables and grain. Harvest. Then build warehouses, transport, pack. Purchased food is also transported home. When we throw away food, we also waste natural and economic resources. And food digested in landfills emits methane gas, which increases the warming effect.
So it’s worth planning Your purchases. This will save the family budget money, waste food and be environmentally friendly.
And to reduce the number of plastic bags, use convenient and sustainable reusable shopping bags when shopping.