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Global food waste reaches epic proportions


Waste reduction
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(NaturalNews) Every year, around 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Economic crises coupled with a growing global population means each of us needs to play our part in reducing waste.

Approximately one-third of global food production goes to waste. Most of this waste happens before food even gets to consumers - 27% is lost at the processing and packaging stage, 26% during agricultural production, 17% during distribution and 4% after produce had been purchased by consumers. A well-known supermarket chain in the UK reportedly threw away almost 30,000 tons of food in a six month period last year, while the UK public discard an estimated 15 million tons of food annually. In 2013, the UN Environment Program (UNEP) launched a campaign to educate and advise the public about food choices, particularly highlighting unnecessary wastage. Think. Eat. Save. Reduce your Foodprint.

Tips from Urban Foragers to Reduce Consumer Waste

Urban foragers, or bin divers as they are sometimes known, are not necessarily dirt-poor homeless people. Many are well-educated and have good jobs, but claim they forage through bins as an ethical stand against waste. By foraging for food that is still edible, packaged and just a day or so past the sell-by date, supporters believe they are keeping food from adding to landfill clutter and many us it help to feed people who would otherwise go hungry.

Foraging in bins, trash-cans, and dumpsters may not be to everybody's taste, yet applying some simple green-eating tips will help conserve resources and prevent waste.
  • Use a shopping list and plan carefully to prevent impulsive purchases. Watch out for marketing ploys that encourage you to buy more than necessary.
  • Don't discard imperfect fruits and vegetables. Blemishes and bruises can be cut out and thrown out or put in a compost heap. Fruits that look like they are spoiling can often be used for pie fillings or jam.
  • Go beyond "sell-by" dates. Look out for the "use by" date, which is a better indicator of food safety. Washing fruits with lemon juice or vinegar has been shown to effectively eliminate most bacteria.
  • Be frugal and use up what is in your food cupboard and freezer before buying again. There are many creative ways left-overs can be re-used. Pack newer items at the back of the grocery cupboard at home and use older items before they expire.

Many responsible consumers agree with the words of Achim Steiner, Executive Directorof UNEP, who stated, "No economic, environmental or ethical argument can be made to justify the extent of food waste and loss currently happening in the world." By being a little more careful, each of us can do our share to prevent the enormous food wastage happening around the world.

Sources:

http://www.fao.org

http://www.unep.org

http://freegan.info

About the author:
Fleur Hupston is a professional freelance writer. She is passionate about living as natural a life as possible and reducing damage to the environment wherever possible. She spends a lot of time researching and writing about alternate medicines and healthy, green living, and manages to find the time to home-school her two daughters.

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