Food is too Good to be Wasted
There are many different kinds of waste, waste of time, waste of space, waste of energy and WASTE OF FOOD. Food Waste is a current topic that has been debated for several years. We have seen some changes for the better, but still, approximately 40% of all food we grow, distribute and consume never gets eaten, some never even makes it to the supermarket shelves according to PBS Food. It would be naïve of us to think Food Waste can be eliminated, however, we do have the ability to severely decrease the percentage of food we waste. In order to do this we need to take it a step further, recycling and re-using is simply not enough, we need to change our way of life if we want to ensure a sustainable future for our planet.
According to the European Commission over 100 million tons of food is wasted annually in the EU, an estimation made in 2014. If we keep going at this pace this number is expected to rise to 126 million by 2020. All actors in the food chain play a role in preventing and reducing food waste, from those who produce and process foods (farmers and food manufacturers) to those who make foods available for consumption (hospitality sector and retailers) and ultimately the consumers themselves. The central goal of the EU Food Safety Policy is to protect both human and animal health. “We need to look for every opportunity to prevent food waste and strengthen sustainability of the food system”
When hearing the term “Food Waste” most people only think of the scraps and excessive food that is being thrown away in households and in restaurants, but there is much more to it. A very big portion of food is wasted before it is even harvested due to certain corporate standards, such as shapes and sizes. A large amount of animalistic products are also wasted based on gastronomic culture and what is seen as “normal” for us to eat. Many parts of the animal are delicious and nutrition but is being wasted simply because we are not used to eating those parts.
“At the moment we are trashing our land to grow food that no one eats”
– Tristram Stuart
There was a time during the World Wars when we understood the importance of eating everything, and not letting any food go to waste, however, in today’s day and age we live a life in splurge and do not always realize the severity of the Food Waste Issue. It is difficult to imagine a world where food is scarce, when taking a stroll down the aisle of the supermarket the shelves are stocked to the max with the same products from a range of different brands and producers.
Today most people are well aware of the impact our lifestyle has on the environment and the result it will have in the future, yet little is done on an individual level to make a change. Many find it difficult to make a change when they do not understand the impact it has on their everyday life. This is about to change, a few environmental organizations have realized that if food waste is converted into money more people will understand how decreasing their food waste can improve their financials. An Irish organization called Southern Waste Management Region have made calculations on what food waste is worth, 1 KG of food waste equals EUR 2-3 depending on the certain food. This have made many households reconsider their habits and lifestyle to decrease their food waste and save money.
There are many changes we can do to help reduce food waste, the first if to take care of your organic food waste in the most sustainable way such as composting our organic waste. Many restaurants have what is called a “Compost circuit” meaning the restaurants waste is given to farmers to be used to feed livestock or to be composted and used when growing crops. The circle of this collaboration is closed by the farmer selling his harvest back to the restaurant. This is a great example of how local businesses can support each other and make their operations more sustainable.
“Nose to tail” is another way to reduce waste and to expand your culinary experiences, by using all the part of the animal. “Gleaning” is a beneficial measure farmers can take on the quest to reducing food waste. Farmers can collect leftover fruit and vegetable and donate it to local schools and communities leaving nothing to go to waste.
SD Trading is a company that works closely with Michelin Star chefs, restaurants and food events and realize their is a large amount of food waste in the hospitality industry. By providing Food and Beverage establishments with our Sustainable Disposable Plates and Tableware we help businesses become more sustainable. Our products are made from all natural materials and can be composted after use and return to Mother Earth, leaving not footprint on the earth.