And Ways to Prevent Food Waste
Root Cause: Why Hunger Exists
- Poverty Trap
- Condemns people under the poverty line to stay there because poor children are usually more malnourished, stunting them and making it difficult to escape poverty.
-Lack of Investment in Agriculture
- Multiple countries lack the requirements of having an agricultural-based system. They lack materials to build store houses and lack steady supplies of water.
-Climate and Weather
- Problems with climate change and long periods of droughts make it harder for some countries to sustain adequate amounts of food.
-War and Displacement
- Conflict continuously disrupts farming and food production. Wars displace citizens, leading to severe hunger crises.
- Roller Coaster food prices makes it difficult for those who are impoverished to access nutritious food consistently.
- One third of food produced (1.3 tons) is never consumed. Reducing food waste could help save the lives of the 1:8 people in the world who are hungry.
Why So Much Waste?
How Does Food Waste Happen?
Waste and losses here result from mechanical damage, where farming equipment accidentally damage the fruits and vegetables. It also includes spills and attacks by insects and other diseases. Losses on animals resulting from diseases and deaths during breeding also fall here. Fish discards are also a factor.
Harvest, post harvest handling, storage:
There are losses here too, resulting from handling of the fruits (foods) during harvesting, storage, and transporting of the produce from farms to the processing centers. This is same for animal farms, where there are losses to animals at the slaughterhouses, as well as meat and fish going bad at storage centers. In India for example, about 21 million tonnes of wheat annually perishes due to inadequate storage and distribution, equivalent to the entire production of Australia.
Food produce that are processed into juices, can foods and pastries also get wasted at the processing centers. During peeling, slicing, boiling and sorting, lots of food are trimmed away by processing equipment. This is similar to dairy production, where milk is lost during pasteurizing. Some losses also occur during fish canning, smoking and salting.
At the market centers, lots of fresh food rot and get thrown away. In wholesale and retail shops, foods reach their expiry dates and get thrown away. Processed foods such as juices, milk, oil and soups spill each day in many market and grocery centers.
These include all losses from food services, homes, schools, hospitals. Lots of pastries, milk, juices and food are thrown away because they were unsold or were not eaten. Of the quantity that does reach the supermarket shelves, 30–50% is thrown away by the final purchaser in the home.
World Hunger Map
This map shows the severity of hunger in some African and Asian countries.
By implementing agricultural systems in poor communities and poorer countries, the risk of hunger will decrease because the risk of food waste will lessen.
We have the Power to Save Lives
By being smarter with what we buy in the store, we can reduce food waste in our home.
Ways to Help Out
1. It all starts with the cart.
Wasting less food begins at the grocery store. Live by the motto “Buy what you need, and eat what you buy.” Always have a plan and a list before going grocery shopping. Check your pantry and fridge before you head to the store to make sure you’re buying what you really need.
2. Buy fresh produce a week at a time.
Buy fresh fruits and vegetables in bulk only if you will use them before they go bad. If you are able to get to the grocery store weekly, buy only enough fresh produce to last that week.
3. Cook with canned and frozen fruits and vegetables.
They can be a good solution if you aren’t sure you’ll be able to use up fresh foods before they go bad. Bonus: they are often more affordable than fresh and can be even more nutritious.
4. Stock your pantry.
A well-stocked pantry can be the secret to whipping up a tasty meal from food that would otherwise go to waste. Read our 10 Tips to Stock Your Pantry.
5. Adapt recipes to your needs.
Learn to adjust recipes to meet your needs and use up what’s in your fridge. Make changes to a recipe based on the foods you have at hand, including leftovers.
6. Make the freezer your friend.
Freeze bread when it won’t be used right away, or if you have some leftover from a meal (bread can be stored in a freezer for up to 6 months). Freeze leftover vegetables for use in later soups or stir fries. Chop and store fresh fruits in freezer to use for Fruit Smoothies.
7. Use up fresh fruit before it goes bad.
Combine fruits into a fruit salad or top cereal with sliced fruit. Cook berries, apples or pears into a tasty crisp or crumble. Use overripe fruit in muffins, breads, or pancakes.
8. Use up fresh vegetables before they go bad.
Add vegetables to soups, stews, casseroles, pastas, sauces, or omelets. Combine vegetables and a little salad dressing for a side dish or snack.
9. Transform leftovers into a new meal.
Transform leftover mashed potatoes into a hearty soup by combining them with stock, a splash of vinegar, onions, carrots and any other veggies you have on hand. Read more on how to plan for leftovers (PDF).
10. Stretch ingredients over multiple meals.
Use ingredients more than once to save money and avoid food waste. Add veggies to pasta or combine to make a mixed salad.
On The Foot of Charity:
You can check out non profit organizations such as:
http://food.caritas.org/campaign-faqs/ (Caritas Campaign)
http://www.groundswellinternational.org/ (Groundswell International)
Through Groundswell International, you can donate money to pay for supplies to be sent to third world countries in order to establish a strong system of food production. They not only work on the foot of charity, but also Justice-
" Groundswell believes that wider social movements must be rooted in strong and healthy local communities, organizations and networks in order to be effective."