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Food waste is a major problem today. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) estimates a staggering 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally each year, approximately a third of all food produced.

With millions of people around the globe suffering hunger and food insecurity, it is criminal that we, as a society, waste so much perfectly good food. Additionally, food waste is hugely damaging to our environment.

Uneaten food that ends up rotting in landfills is a large producer of methane, a particularly harmful greenhouse gas. If food waste were a country, it would be the third biggest emitter of carbon dioxide after China and the USA.

So if you care enough for world and the environment, thens here’s some simple tips for you to do your bit.

Tips to Help Reduce Food Waste

1. Reducing food wastage in the first place.

This includes developing better food harvest, storage, processing, transport and retailing processes. A key factor in this is the relaxation of legislation related to labelling and packaging.

2. Re-use surplus food within the human food chain.

In Australia, there are a number of initiatives dedicated to finding secondary markets for unwanted food.  Organisations like Foodbank and OzHarvest have a perishable food rescue organisation in Australia, collecting quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivering it, direct and free of charge, to close to 500 charities across Australia.

3. Re-use surplus food for pets or livestock feed

If food is not fit for human consumption, the next best option is to divert it for livestock feed, conserving resources that would otherwise be used to produce commercial feedstuff.

3. Where re-use is not possible, recycling, and recovery should be pursued.

If you can’t reuse food then the next best thing is composting. Composting is a get way to do your bit for the enivronment and has significant advantage over dumping it in landfills.

What can you do at home to reduce waste?

There are a number of simple actions we can all do as individuals to reduce the deplorable four million tonnes of food we send to landfill every year.

– Write a shopping list based on a weekly meal plan.

– Store food correctly. This useful guide will show you how to increase the shelf life of a huge number of products

– Reuse left overs for lunch or as the basis for another meal.

– Check out FoodWise’s Cheat sheets.

For those who are interest in some recipes to help with reusing food, here a few recipes you could try.

Potato and veggie hash

A delicious zero waste brunch, which compleats the whole potato, parsnip, broccoli, spring onion and herbs (stalks, peels and all). Or swap out for any leftover veggies you have at home! This recipe can also be made vegan and/or gluten free.

Rice-crusted Quiche

This is an ideal way to use up any left-over cooked rice. Adapt the filling to include whatever you have in the fridge.

Pumpkin Pasta

It’s easy to turn leftover cooked pumpkin into pasta. Try this recipe today, no pasta machine needed!

For more great food waste recipes, check out Love Food Hate Waste.

Just in case you needed the hard facts, here’s a handy infographic for food waste in Australia.

For more tips on food waste or zero waste, check out our post Zero Waste Home Series – Tips to go Zero Waste in the Kitchen.