On the one hand, the excess. It happens in the vast majority of homes and with all kinds of food: fruit is bought for the week and more than half is not consumed, it rots in the cupboard and ends up in the garbage. A delicious dish is prepared, the family sits at the table and at the end –because a lot of food has been served– there are variable remains of food on the plates. All leftovers go in the trash.
It also happens in restaurants, where variable amounts of food are thrown away without any consideration. The same in markets and supermarkets.
In the world, it is estimated that 31% of food produced ends up in the garbage. 14% is lost between harvest and the point of retail sale, and 17% is wasted after sale, this includes 11% in households, 5% in food services and 2% in retail. retail.
A study published in Peru, in March 2021, calculates that 47.76% of the food produced is lost, and that each person throws away 67.34 kilos of food each year. Of food wasted, 25% is lost during agricultural production, 18% during harvest, 28% during processing and packaging, 13% during distribution, and 16% during consumption.
On the other hand, the lack It is estimated that 3.1 billion people in the world do not have access to a healthy diet and some 828 million people go to bed without having eaten during the day. In Peru, the increase in poverty and the proliferation of common pots – especially during the pandemic – indicate that food is lacking.
How has this situation come about, in which, on the one hand, food is left over and thrown away, and on the other, there are billions of human beings who do not have to eat?
Knowing that global and local action is required to maximize the use of the food we produce, let’s see what we can do at home.
1. Buy only what you need: make a shopping list and stick to it. Don’t buy impulsively. You will not waste less, but you will save money.
2. Choose unsightly or slightly bruised fruits and vegetables. Those foods taste the same and are also nutritious. Don’t throw away ripe fruit, use it for juices and desserts.
3. Store food with the oldest produce in front from the cupboard or refrigerator and the new ones behind. Use airtight containers to keep open foods fresh in the refrigerator, and close packages tightly to keep bugs out.
“Food waste is estimated to contribute 8% to 10% of total greenhouse gases.”
4. Learn to read food labels. There is a big difference between the “best before dates” Y “expiry”. Sometimes foods are still safe to eat after the best before date. After the expiration date, the food is no longer safe to eat.
5. Many foods can be frozen for later use and many leftovers can be used for other meals.
6. Respect the social value of food. Connect with the food by meeting the farmers and the process involved in making it, from planting, harvesting and distribution.
7. Shop at local food fairs and support small farmers and businesses in your community.
8. Eat more legumes, products whose storage can be longer. One or more times a week, eat beans or quinoa.
9. Donate food that would otherwise go to waste. Adopt a common pot and contribute to the feeding of other people with products that will not serve you and that will probably end up in the garbage. Those with the skills develop apps to connect neighbors and local businesses to share leftover food.
When food is lost or wasted, all the resources used to produce it – water, land, energy, labor and capital – go to waste. Food waste is estimated to contribute 8% to 10% of total greenhouse gases, driving unstable climate and extreme weather events such as droughts and floods that, in turn, negatively impact yield and nutritional quality of crops.
In Peru, we hope that the implementation of Law 30988, “which promotes the reduction and prevention of food losses and waste”, and its regulations can have a positive impact on the sad reality that almost half of the country’s food is thrown away. We hope this is not another case of a dead law on paper.
I am a highly experienced and well-connected journalist, with a focus on healthcare news. I have worked for several major news outlets, and currently work as an author at 24 news recorder. My work has been featured in many prestigious publications, and I have a wide network of contacts in the healthcare industry. I am highly passionate about my work, and strive to provide accurate and timely information to my readers.