It is no secret that the biggest culprit for climate change is greed: of the world's largest private corporations, which blindly seek unlimited economic profit, and of political leaders, who are also blindly willing to maintain their power at any cost. But ordinary people can help slow down this hellish race.
Food waste was installed as a dangerous habit, as we buy more than we need in supermarkets, which causes vegetables and fruits to rot at home, or we order more than we can eat in restaurants.
Ideas to reduce food waste
• Small amounts: Serve or eat smaller portions of food at home and share with your friends in restaurants, in case the portions are too large. • Reuse your leftovers: Save your leftovers for another meal or use them on a different plate. • Buy only what you need: Be smart about your purchases. Make a list of what you need and try to follow it. Don't buy more than you can consume. • Leave prejudices aside: Buy "ugly" or uneven fruits and vegetables. They are just as good, but a little different. • Check your refrigerator: Store food at 1 to 5 degrees Celsius for maximum freshness and shelf life. • First in, first out: Try to use products that you have previously purchased. Move older products to the front and place newer ones to the back. • Understand dates: "Best before" indicates a date when the food is safe to eat, while "Best before" means that the quality of the food is better before that date, but is still safe for consumption after that date. . Another date that can be found on food packages is the "Best Before" date, which is useful for inventory rotation for manufacturers and retailers. • Compost: Some food waste can be unavoidable, so why not install a compost bin? • Donate surplus, sharing is living SOURCE: FAO
The United Nations (UN) insists on these problems. But apparently humanity does not really pay attention to ways to avoid the enormous waste and loss of food, but it laments that hunger and poverty again reached record levels in various parts of the world, often as a result of disasters caused by human beings and their excessive and even voracious consumption.
The facts are compelling when it comes to food loss and waste.
In developing countries, most of the food, 40 percent, is lost in the harvest or processing stage, said the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), based in Rome.
Meanwhile, in rich countries, the same proportion, 40 percent, is lost in the consumer or retail stage. Stores throw away food that nobody bought or households throw away food that nobody ate.
Either way is known as "food waste."
Every year, about 1.3 billion tons of food produced for human consumption is lost or thrown away in the world.
Food waste increases greenhouse gases
“We create habits that harm our world and put additional pressure on our natural resources. When we waste food, we waste work, money and precious resources (such as water and seeds) used to obtain food, not to mention the resources destined for transport, ”explained the FAO.
In other words, food waste increases greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to climate change. It is an excess at a time when nearly 1 billion people are starving, and a waste of work, water, energy, land and other inputs used in production.
In industrialized countries, waste is concentrated in the consumption stage, while in low-income countries it occurs mainly at the beginning and in the middle of the supply chain, details the UN agency.
Likewise, in developing countries, losses are mainly due to problems related to the poor quality of transport and facilities for storing, processing and packaging, in addition to the lack of certain capacities that make production, harvesting, and food transportation are inefficient.
Depending on the characteristics of the food and the local context, the activities that are key to reducing losses are carried out by small farmers or other actors that operate near farms, such as traders, collectors, agro-processors and sales cooperatives, he explained.
One reason for the waste is that it is difficult for small farmers to ensure efficient delivery of production to their customers because of the small volume of their operations and because of their vulnerability when faced with environmental and commercial fluctuations.
The situation contributes not only to waste, but also to high transaction costs, lost income and increased food insecurity, reinforcing the case for supporting producer organizations that promote collective capacity of operations. smallholders.
United Arab Emirates Food Bank Initiative
Some countries have already made political decisions to institutionalize efforts to fight hunger and food waste. The United Arab Emirates created the Food Bank earlier this year.
That country confirmed its political will to institutionalize the fight against hunger and food loss, and will spearhead regional efforts in the fight against food waste and loss.
The bank will bring together many actors to collect excess food in hotels, supermarkets, restaurants and farms. Then you will store and package the food for distribution. In addition, non-edible food will be recycled for other uses, including but not limited to the production of animal feed and fertilizers.
Food waste and loss in the Middle East and North Africa is estimated at about 250 kilograms per person, about $ 60 billion a year, and thus reducing food loss and waste is critical to achieving sustainable food systems. food and guarantee regional food security.
Meanwhile, bad habits can be changed and global warming can also be reduced on an individual scale.
Translated by Verónica Firme
Photo: Credit FAO