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Global Food Waste Facts & What You Can Do

Updated: Jan 7, 2020

​ (Author: Marketa Zackova)

Most of us know we are wasting way too much food globally. Numbers say it all: approximately one third (1.3 billion tonnes) of global food produced for human consumption gets lost or wasted EVERY YEAR. In particular, fruits and vegetables along with roots and tubers have the highest wastage rates (45%), followed by seafood and fish (35%), cereals (30%), dairy and meat (20%). It is mind boggling that so much food goes to waste while people suffer from malnutrition and starvation around the world.

While both developed and developing countries waste food in high numbers, it happens at different levels.

Developed countries mostly waste food at retail and consumer levels, while for developing countries it happens at post-harvest and processing levels. Are you asking yourself why? The biggest role in developing countries play the climate, infrastructure and transportation, while in industrialized countries it's mostly the behaviour of consumers.

Asking yourself what you can do personally to help reduce food waste? We’ve prepared for you some amazing ideas!

Cooking at home:

When you’re cooking at home or anywhere else, try to prepare your meal without any waste possible. Make use of every piece of food you’re preparing. Be conscious, and eventually you’ll be doing this without even thinking about it!

If you have a lot of one thing, try to make conserves. That’s another great way to avoid food waste at home!

Eating at a restaurant:

Order only as much as you can eat, avoid having eyes bigger than your plate! If you really can’t finish it, ask to take it home with you and eat it later as a snack (or give the leftovers to anyone who would take a good use of it).

Doing groceries:

Avoid buying unconsciously tons of food thinking you will for sure eat it later. Moreover, it is not always wise to buy something just because it’s on a deal. When you buy things on discount, make sure it’s something that you will definitely use, or that has a long shelf life.

Get used to preparing an items list or planning recipes for the week, and buy ingredients only for the specific meals. Check in advance which ingredients you already have and which ones you’re missing. This way you’ll make sure you use all your food and nothing will be left to rotten in your fridge.

Regularly go through your fridge:

Look in your fridge from time to time and prepare meals only from food that is about to expire. Be creative! Nowadays it’s so easy to find online recipes with any ingredients possible. This way you’ll avoid wasting food that could’ve been eaten beforehand.

Freezer isn’t only for ice!

Think about how many of different kinds of food you can freeze and eat much later. Bread, meat, fruits, or any leftovers for that matter! You can bag your cooked meals individually, freeze them and use 1 portion at a time.

What are your tips or experience? How do you avoid wasting food in your household? Share your tips in the comments section!

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