Stop Food Waste Day on April 28 is an international day of action that aims to raise awareness among people about the growing issue of food wastage.

It is estimated that around one-third of the food produced on Earth goes to waste. Stop Food Waste Day was an initiative launched in the United States by a food services company called Compass group in 2017. The initiative later went global in 2018.

“Food waste is a massive issue facing us all,” Dominic Blakemore, CEO, Compass Group  PLC said on the Stop Food Waste Day website. The company aims to halve food waste by 2030.

Reports indicate that 45% of root crops, fruit and vegetables produced globally are wasted per year. Stop Food Waste Day aims to educate people about their food waste and make impactful solutions to how people farm, produce, purchase and use food.

The statistics show that only 25% of the food wasted would be enough to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that an average household in the US wastes $2,200 of perfectly edible food annually. This wastage not only fills up the landfills producing 16 percent of all U.S. methane emissions but also costs another $2 billion a year as the cost of disposal.

There are different ways to reduce food wastage. On this Stop Waste Day, here are some tips for you to reduce food wastage at your home.

  1. Plan Ahead - Planning ahead by making a shopping list will help you to avoid buying too much food and reduces the chances of impulse buying. Though buying in bulk may be convenient, it can result in more food waste. More frequent trips every few days, as and when you use up all the food you bought on the last trip will ensure that food is not wasted.                                              the-market-3147758_640 representational image Photo: pixabay
  2. Store Food Correctly - Improper storage is one of the major causes of food wastage in households. Separating foods that produce more ethylene gas from those that don’t is a great way to reduce food spoilage as ethylene promotes ripening in foods and could lead to spoilage. The fruits like bananas, avocados, tomatoes, peaches, pears and green onions produce ethylene while they ripen. So, they need to kept away from ethylene-sensitive produce like potatoes, apples, leafy greens, berries and peppers to avoid premature spoilage.
  3. Organize your Kitchen - One way to reduce food waste in the kitchen is by organizing your pantry and fridge. Following a First In First Out (FIFO) rule while organizing food in your pantry will help you to reduce wastage. The rule simply means that the newer food items go at the back of the cupboard and the ones nearing expiring on the front row.                                     
  4. Save Leftovers - Although many people save excess food as leftovers in the fridge, they are often forgotten and ultimately thrown away when it goes bad. Storing leftover food in clear glass containers will ensure that you don’t forget them. If you regularly have leftovers, you can plan a specific day of the week for using them. vegetable-basket-349667_640 representational image Photo: pixabay
  5. Freeze Food - Freezing food is the easiest way to preserve them for a later date. Many fruits and vegetables stay well when frozen, allowing it to be consumed even when it is not in season. Freezing herbs that are not often used can also be helpful.