What is Food Waste? Why Does Food Waste Occur? How Can Food Waste Be Prevented?

What Is Food Waste Why Does It Occur How Food Waste Can Be Prevented?
What Is Food Waste Why Does It Occur How Food Waste Can Be Prevented?

One of the main reasons for the problem of food waste, which has reached a global dimension, is the consumption habits adopted by people. Learning and implementing ways to reduce the negative effects of food waste is critical to the future of the planet.

 What is Food Waste?

The nutrients that individuals need to consume in order to fulfill their vital activities constitute food. Food waste, on the other hand, can be defined as the excessive use of the produced food and its waste without being consumed. From the field to the supply chains, from the sales points to the homes, food waste occurs when the food produced is wasted, destroyed or not consumed under almost all conditions. About one-third of the food produced for human consumption, or about 1,3 billion tons of food, is wasted every year in the world. Especially fruits, vegetables and grains are the most wasted food types. Waste of food also means waste of resources such as water, land, energy, labor and capital. In this respect, it is one of the causes of the climate crisis.

Why Does Food Waste Occur?

Many factors such as inadequacy of economic infrastructure, wrong agricultural and food policies, insufficient technological equipment play a decisive role in food waste. It is aimed to deliver the food collected from the production points to the consumer under suitable conditions and as soon as possible. Losses occur at every stage of the supply chain, from harvesting techniques to storage and cooling methods, from transportation to proportional distribution of food to the population.

Almost half of food waste comes from individual activities. Food, the amount of which gradually decreases in the process of coming from the farm to the table, reaches the last stage of waste due to the purchasing and consumption habits of people. The most decisive factor in food waste is individuals' miscalculation of their food needs. The main source of food waste is that individuals do not shop for food in accordance with their needs, and excess and unused food is thrown away or left to rot.

On Food Waste in Turkey

According to the current data of the United Nations Environment Program, food wastage due to household consumption in Turkey amounts to 7,7 million tons every year. This means that the annual food waste per person is around 93 kg. When industrial food waste is taken into account, food waste in Turkey reaches up to 18 million tons. In the light of all these data, it can be interpreted that Turkey is one of the countries where serious measures should be taken regarding food waste.

How Can We Prevent Food Waste?

With the rapidly increasing food waste around the world, the issue of how to prevent this problem is important. kazanis gone. In reducing food waste, it is important to develop more professional measures at every stage of the supply chain. Apart from this, individuals also play an important role in producing solutions. Here's what you can do to prevent food waste:

 Identify your needs: Keep track of your weekly food shopping closely. If you have food waste in your home, determine your real needs by observing what goes to waste and why.

Shop smart: Be sure to go out for food shopping with a list, do not buy more than you need, and always check the expiration dates when purchasing food.

Store food correctly: Find out which food you should store and how. Use your deep freezer when necessary or resort to protective methods such as drying and pickling.

Evaluate leftovers: Store leftovers in the refrigerator and consume as soon as possible. Instead of throwing away stale bread or fruit that has lost its freshness, try giving them another chance with creative recipes.

Make compost: If you have suitable space, you can use leftovers from the materials you use while cooking, such as vegetable and fruit peels, to make compost.

Explore the zero waste approach: Adopt a zero-waste approach to prevent all kinds of waste and make an effort to act with this awareness in your daily life.

Food Waste and Its Effects

Food waste has a negative impact on many aspects of life. The main of these effects can be listed as follows:

  • Global food crisis and hunger
  • Fuel losses in production and logistics
  • Decreased productivity of cultivated land
  • Waste of electricity and water resources
  • Loss of workforce
  • Capital loss

Adopting the right shopping and consumption habits as a conscious consumer contributes greatly to the prevention of food waste. Also, striving for a sustainable lifestyle is the key to avoiding any kind of waste.

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