The Truth About Food Waste
40% of food is wasted globally every year yet we continue to clear even more land for agricultural crops.
In our latest blog we share the shocking statistics about food waste and how reducing the amount of food we waste could be the answer to reversing climate change.
In our previous blog post; “Extinction: The Facts”, we briefly discussed the global issue of food waste and how approximately 40% of food is wasted around the world each year. In this article, we want to explore this problem even more and share the truly shocking statistics that we have uncovered.
The most common reasons for wasted food at industry levels are overproduction, damaged packaging, manufacturing of order mistakes, stock control issues, cosmetic standards and confusion around dates (best before, use by, display until).
40% of food is wasted globally every year yet we continue to clear even more land for agricultural crops. This equates to almost 10 million tonnes of food wasted every year in the UK alone. You would therefore assume that by analysing our food consumption/waste ratios we would be able to plan a more sustainable agricultural system with a reduced impact on the environment due to large scale land clearing?
Without the facts and figures it’s easy to underestimate the implications of food waste, both socially and on our environment, that’s why we’ve outlined a few of the main points below:
- Almost 10 million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK every year.
- Globally, approximately one third of all food goes to waste.
- In fact, an area larger than China is used to grow food that is never eaten.
- All of the one billion people going hungry in the world could be fed on less than a quarter of the food that is wasted in the developing world.
- For every tonne of food waste in landfill, there are approx. 4.2 tonnes of greenhouse gases produced from it.
- If food waste represented a country, its greenhouse gas emissions would come third in the world after the USA and China.
And finally, according to Project DrawDown (see previous blog), reducing food waste is predicted to be the most impactful solution to the climate crisis – more effective than switching to electric cars, relying on solar power or adopting plant-based diets.
So, what can we do to help cut back? The key point here is that we can ALL make changes to our current lifestyles in order to collectively combat the problem. Even on a small scale, in your household, neighbourhood or town, if you can inspire change in those around you, we will start to make a real difference.
Here are five simple actions that you can take:
1. Make sure that you don’t overbuy by sticking to a carefully planned shopping list every time you go food shopping.
2. Always check the use-by dates of fresh food when you’re in the supermarket - if you know you won’t be using the item until later in the week, choose a pack with a later date.
3. Plan your meals for the week in advance and try to take into account leftovers that could be used for lunch the next day, or even bulked up for dinner.
4. Be inventive with your leftover vegetables. There are plenty of ‘leftover’ recipes to discover online.
5. Make the most of companies like Oddbox or Wonky Veg Boxes who provide weekly boxes of ‘ugly’ fruit and veg that would otherwise have gone to waste.
How is this relevant to the Believe Hotel Group?
Our aim is to continually assess and implement processes and systems to avoid adding to the problem by:
– Actively managing our consumption/waste ratios
– Planning our menus in advance of the season
– Using seasonal produce
– Sourcing as locally as possible – trying to keep within 50 miles to prevent waste from transport damage
– Working with our gardening team, local farmers and suppliers to ensure we have just enough to service our requirement
– Using as much of the produce as possible (look at ways to use offcuts etc)
– Converting organically generated food waste (peelings etc) to fertiliser using the cover over method to lock in carbon