International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction
In this week’s Thursday Reflection, pupils learned about the importance of reducing food loss and waste and discussed ways in which we might be able to create more sustainable and resilient food systems.
Reducing food losses and waste is essential in a world where the number of people affected by hunger has been on the rise since 2014, and tons and tons of edible food are lost and/or wasted every day. Globally, an estimated 17 percent of total global food production is wasted. Food loss and waste undermine the sustainability of our food systems. When food is lost or wasted, all the resources that were used to produce this food - including water, land, energy, labour and capital - go to waste. In addition, the disposal of food loss and waste in landfills, leads to greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change. Food loss and waste can also negatively impact food security and food availability, and contribute to increasing the cost of food. Our food systems cannot be resilient if they are not sustainable, hence the need to focus on the adoption of integrated approaches designed to reduce food loss and waste. Actions are required globally and locally to maximise the use of the food we produce (cf. United Nations, 2022 available at: ttps://www.un.org/en/observances/end-food-waste-day/).
Here are some tips for wasting less and being a food hero:
- Adopt a healthier, more sustainable diet.
- Buy only what you need.
- Don’t waste ugly fruit and vegetables.
- Store food wisely.
- Understand food labelling – food is only unsafe to eat after the “use-by” date.
- Eat smaller portions.
- Love your leftovers – blend them, freeze them, do anything with them, just don’t waste them!
- Put your food waste to use – compost it.
- Respect food and the people who make it for us.
- Support local food producers.
- Keep fish populations afloat – eat fish that is farmed or caught sustainably.
- Use less water.
- Keep our soils and water clean by using the correct bin for hazardous waste.
- Eat more pulses and veggies.
- Sharing is caring - Donate food that would otherwise be wasted.
(cf. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, 2022 available at: https://www.fao.org/fao-stories/article/en/c/1309609/)
Hopefully, we’re going to have some food heroes at The Pilgrims’ School!
Lay Chaplain and coordinator of SMSC