Food, what a waste!

Sep 21, 2020

It is estimated that we waste about a third of all the food we produce for human consumption. A third!!! That’s a lot of food.

Producing food requires a huge environmental effort, land that has been deforested, species that have been driven to extinction, indigenous populations that have been made homeless and uprooted soil that has been degraded and a huge amount of water used – all to produce food that we then just throw away.

This is not to scare you, unfortunately this is the reality of the food waste problem we have worldwide. These are facts. It is hard for us in the western world to understand the devastating effects that food waste has on the environment, because we can’t see it with our own eyes.

Another devastating effect of food waste, is that when the majority of it ends up in our landfill bins, it decomposes without access to oxygen and creates methane, which is 23x more deadly than carbon dioxide.

Every which way you look at it food waste is a major culprit in destroying our planet, and in fact if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the USA.

When we look at food waste a bit closer to home, in our Hospitality industry for example, there is a staggering statistic that 70% of the Food Waste produced by Hotels and Restaurants is actually avoidable. While we are putting food in the bin there are millions of people starving in other countries, but for this blog, I am going to move away from the human side of this problem, and talk about what most motivates business owners:

COST SAVINGS.

Putting food in the bin is literally the equivalent of putting your hard earned cash in the bin. More so even, than any other waste type. You have to factor in the following elements:

  1. You bought the raw produce at a cost
  2. You stored it in your fridges and freezers using energy that also cost you money
  3. Then you cooked it, using energy and staff wages to add to that cost.
  4. And then, when the food comes back from your food service areas, or when it is spoiled in your fridges, you pay money for your waste company to take it away.

What an absolute waste!

​Food waste, has an estimated cost of €3 per Kg. In the last 4 years I have been working with Hospitality owners and I have seen some businesses putting over €150,000 in their bins.

I heard a great phrase from a food waste expert on LinkedIn recently “When it comes to food waste, question everything”.

That should be the new mentality around food waste.

Food waste is a commodity of the western world, a commodity of the consumerism society we are all living in, it is costing us money, and it is costing us our planet.

 

Raquel

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