Food waste can seem harmless when we throw away the leftovers that are no longer good for consumption. However, we forget that the rest of the world may be doing the same, on much larger scales. The result of that? Tons and tons of food waste. The counter below shows food waste and food loss in real time in the world. Shocking, right?
First of all, a distinction must be made between food waste and food loss. Food spoiled before harvest, or when stored, packaged or transported, is known as food loss. This can be caused by the weather, by insects, among others. Food that is good for consumption but not eaten or thrown away is called food waste. This brings disadvantages at various levels: world hunger, negative impact on the environment and unfavorable economic impact. On the other hand, reducing food waste has several benefits, but 3 of them must be highlighted:
Saves the planet: avoiding waste reduces your carbon footprint and methane emissions from landfills;
Saves resources: less waste not only avoids pollution, but also the resources involved in the growing, manufacturing, transporting, and selling;
Saves money: If you buy only the amount of food you need, you save money. If you don't throw food away, you don't waste the money you spent on buying it.
In Portugal food waste represents 17% of the annual food production, which is approximately 1 million tonnes. In light of this reality, it is necessary to adopt policies and behaviors that prevent the impacts of this problem on several levels. In addition, the commitment of all stakeholders, including us consumers, is central to achieving the short-term goal of a significant reduction of food waste. As the change begins in our homes, we leave below some easy tips that you need to know and that make all the difference if they are implemented on a daily basis.