If food waste was a country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world. That is a crazy statistic. Ready to learn why?
Food is often overproduced and over-consumed by people globally. The food is wasted by people. But it is also wasted by the process of creating and transporting the food before it gets to us as well.
Therefore, we can see that food wastage is a huge problem. Often at times, the food that is wasted is perfectly fine and suitable to consume. So what are the causes of food wastage, and how can we help prevent it?
10. Poor knowledge on the consumer’s part – consumer’s mindset and knowledge
Not many people fully understand the problem or know how to turn it into action. More needs to be done to help educate consumers.
Providing people with resources to help them implement food-saving practices at home will be beneficial.
9. Processing problems – food safety protocols can cause errors in industrial processing
The smallest error creates waste, as any food will be rejected. This will happen even if it’s simply due to an imperfection in appearance or shape due to the high food safety protocols in business.
8. Retail shops overstocking shelves – wasteful practices in the retail industry can be viewed as good business strategies
Some of the main causes of food wastage within retail shops can be overstocking. Subconsciously forcing the consumer into buying excess food.
A way to help prevent this is to force shops to change their policies on what good business strategies are.
7. Overproduction – farms producing too much food
Farmers will often plant more than what the consumers demand to ensure crop harvest, even if pests and diseases affect some crops.
The same applies to the shift in market prices. If the cost of production outweighs the return, farmers will leave the crops unharvested.
6. Poorly refrigerated transportation – food can go to waste before it gets to the shop
During food transportation, perishable foods are vulnerable to loss. Access to refrigerated transportation is essential to ensure the longevity of perishable foods.
However, a way to prevent this is by reducing the amount of transportation needed. If local sources are used, the long waiting times for shipments can be avoided saving food from landfill.
5. Overbuying – picking up items to store in the cupboard can cause consumers to forget what they have
When people buy more than necessary, the excess will often end up in the bin and ultimately in the landfill.
This is a problem when the household has too much produce in the house, and it piles up. A way that you can avoid this cause of food wastage is to keep note of what you have.
4. Poor planning on the consumer’s part – overconsuming due to not having an appropriate plan
People will go to the shop and buy food to stock up the fridge and pantry, all without making plans for what items they need for the week.
A way to prevent this is to do meal preparation for the week or couple of days. This will prevent food items from being forgotten about, and you’ll save money too!
3. Confusion on food labelling – dates on food labels are often inaccurate
Consumers are shown dates on almost every food item sold in shops. The ‘use by’ date on an item tells us whether it’s safe to eat, while the ‘best before’ date relates to quality.
These dates often cause people a lot of confusion when it comes to using items.
2. Marketing ploys in the store – the buy one get one free marketing tactic fools people into buying more
Try not to get sucked into unnecessary supermarket deals. These are marketing ploys to sell more products and make money. ‘Buy one get one free’, ‘three for two’, and all manner of other deals entice us in, making us think it’s a deal.
1. Oversized portions – restaurants overestimate the size of meals
Most restaurants, hotels, and the food service industry alike tend to create meals of larger portions. Often with good intentions, as they cannot guess how much food someone needs.
A way for restaurants to avoid causes of food wastage in their business is to reduce portions and how much they batch. It could even save them money too.
Those were ten of the causes of food wastage and how to help prevent it in both production, selling and consumption. Will you try to reduce your food waste?