Food waste is food which was produced for humans but got lost on its way from the field to the dinner plate or food which was just thrown out.
More than 200kg of food per person per year is wasted in western countries.
The food we throw away, lose or spoil would be enough to feed the entire world population three times.
There are steps on the journey from harvesting to be ready to eat.
Fruits or vegetables are already sorted out when they get picked or harvested. Only even and to the size requirements, standard food will be selected. If there was an over production of planting, the food will be thrown out.
Food can also get lost during its transport.
Out of date food will be thrown out even if it is still perfectly fine to eat. Nevertheless, meat, fish or eggs should not be used anymore after it is out of date. All other products can just simply be tested by the consumer. Firstly we should check the food with our eyes. Does it still look alright? Is there no mould? Secondly, we smell the food, is there an unfamiliar smell or does it smell like usual? And last we taste the food. We will immediately taste if something is wrong.
Here a few samples:
Dairy products are generally still absolutely perfect to eat even after one or two days over date. Jam or bread will have mould if it is not edible anymore. Nuts, butter or other fat products will smell rancid.
Sugar and honey actually last almost forever as long as the content is kept absolutely clean, no dirty spoons etc.
However, we can also reduce household food waste if we are following further rules.
Before shopping, have a look at what is still in your fridge or your pantry. Don’t shop when you are hungry.
Shop for only fresh food you really need. To stock food, buy only long-lasting products like pasta, rice, sugar, tins, etc.
Store food in a clean place or the clean fridge. Check the food in the pantry and the fridge regularly.
Calculate how much you need to cook for yourself, your friends and your family. Most fruits and vegetables don’t need to be peeled. However, they need to be washed properly. If there are some leftovers, include them with your next meal or freeze them.