Why so much food?
What’s the fuss about Food Waste in South Africa?
- Roughly 1/3 of food prepared for human consumption – 1.3 billion tonnes gets wasted each year.
- Every year consumers in rich countries waste as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa.
- 842 million people in the world don’t have enough to eat.
- If food waste was a country it would be the 3rd largest Carbon Dioxide emitter.
- Every time food is wasted; the water, energy, time, manpower, fertilizer, fuel, packaging and money put into growing the food product is wasted.
SOUTH AFRICA STATISTICS
- South Africa’s food waste is reflective of the world’s food waste epidemic with 10 million tonnes out of 31 million tonnes of food produced being binned.
- The energy wasted on producing this wasted food in South Africa per year is equated to supply enough energy to the City of Johannesburg for 16 weeks.
- The water used to produce these wasted food products would fill 600 000 Olympic size swimming pools.
- 90% of waste is sent to landfill sites of which the food-waste component leads to methane gas (a harmful greenhouse gas that contributes 28-36 times more impact on the environment than carbon-dioxide).
- 65-90% of organic waste (including food waste) collected by Municipalities is sent to landfill sites.
Where is the waste generated in hotels and restaurants?
- Spoiled out of date food
- Peelings & trimmings
- Inedible products ie bones, coffee grounds, tea leaves
- Kitchen error
- Plate waste
BE A GOOD FRIDGE MANAGER:
‘LOVE FOOD HATE WASTE’ for Businesses:
- Ensure that food that is still edible but needs to be removed, is sent to your local charity immediately.
- The South African Academic sector needs your fact-finding research on your food loss to assist them with further research.
- Ensure your packaging is of good quality to ensure food stays fresh for longer.
- Don’t destroy hail damaged food, rather slice and dice or use for fertilizer.
- Educate your customers on food waste and offer smaller portions (41% of those surveyed in the UK blamed oversized portions for leaving food)
- Staff training on waste reduction and management strategy.
‘LOVE FOOD HATE WASTE’ for Individual Consumers:
- Get curious about your food, where it came from and understand the journey it takes to get to your store.
- Understand the date labels. ‘Sell by” is information for the grocer not for you, the consumer.
- Make wise decisions when purchasing, and purchase what you know you will consume.
- Prepare the right quantity, and don’t over serve.
- Freeze leftovers
- Reuse any packaging that can be used for alternative purposes and recycle and compost.
Resources and further reading:
- Farmers Weekly Cost of South Africas Food Waste
- Green Hotelier Reducing and Managing Food Waste in Hotels
- Save with Jamie