International Stop Food Waste Day is April 28

File photo Shutterstock
File photo Shutterstock

The Gloucester Environment Group talks about Stop Food Waste Day - an international day of action in the fight against food waste to be held on Wednesday April 28.

Food Waste is a serious and growing problem. Roughly one-third of the food produced globally is either lost or wasted every year with 45% of root crops, fruit and vegetables produced being wasted.

One quarter of this wasted food could feed all 795 million undernourished people in the world.

In Australia every year a staggering 298kg of food is wasted per person, totalling a massive $10.3 billion dollars and making us the fourth highest food wasting country globally.

Food waste typically ends up in landfill, where it anaerobically decomposes, expelling methane - a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

* Each year we waste around 7.3 million tonnes of food - this equals about 300kg per person or one in five bags of groceries.

* Food waste costs the economy around $20 billion each year.

* Food waste accounts for more than five per cent of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.

What is the Australian Government doing about it?

Australia has set a goal to halve its food waste by 2030, aligning with the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 12.3.

So, am I part of the problem?

We consumers surprisingly, are the ones who are wasting the most, with 34% of total waste coming from individual households and up to one tenth of total food bought by consumers thrown away.

According to the Rabobank 2020 Food Waste report, the average Australian household is now wasting 12.7% of their weekly grocery shop, costing $1,043 per year.

Throwing away scraps and food that's gone off here and there might seem harmless, however it's hurting your back pocket as well as our planet.

What can we do?

If we all do our bit, we can have a huge impact on the amount of food wasted and create a more sustainable future.

There are several ways to combat food wastage in the home. The key is developing good habits.

* Make a list ahead of time before you head to the grocery store.

* Find simple recipes to best use fresh produce and leftovers.

* Get in the habit of freezing leftovers.

* Revive wilted vegetables by washing them in water for 5 to 10 minutes.

* Make sure that when you freeze food, you remove as much air as possible for long-lasting freshness.

* Share with others the benefits of saving food waste.

* Worm farms, Bokashi, Composting - break down food waste aerobically. This helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions while creating rich compost fertiliser for your garden.

Stop Food Waste Day's mission is to ignite change regarding the global food waste issue by drawing attention to the problem while at the same time educating people about waste.

For more information and tips visit https://www.stopfoodwasteday.com/en/index.html