Food Waste


Sarah Gáliková


Food Waste

Photo by Askar Abayev on

Food waste can be considered a global problem that affects all links of the agro-food chain, from the field to the consumer’s table.

According to some data collected from 1974 until today, it is estimated that food waste in the world has increased by 50%.

Every year in Europe, an increasing amount of healthy and edible food is lost throughout the food supply chain. The annual production of food waste in the 27 Member States is approximately 94 million tonnes, 183 kg per capita, with significant differences between individual countries. If preventive measures are not taken, the total volume of food waste may increase to 129 million tons by 2024.

The main causes of food waste:

Photo by Polina Kovaleva on
  • Losses during harvest and storage
  • Transportation under non-observed safe conditions
  • Packaging errors
  • Inappropriate inventory management
  • Bad habits of consumers when buying and using food products

Main consequences of food waste:

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  • Food waste has a significant impact on world hunger, increased demand for food and deterioration of the population’s nutrition level. Currently, 925 million people worldwide are at risk of malnutrition.
  • The production of surplus food that we do not consume represents a high environmental cost in terms of energy consumption and natural resources, as well as greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere.
  • In addition to the damage to the environment caused by the production of food that is not subsequently used, it is necessary to take into account the costs of processing and disposal of waste and the loss of income of production enterprises.

Tips how to avoid food wasting

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Plan your grocery shopping

  • prepare a list of the foods you need to buy,
  • check the use-by date of purchased food,
  • control the producer – a large amount of food waste can be avoided if a short food supply chain is maintained and efficient local production and distribution is ensured,
  • do not shop when you’re hungry.

Choose the right amount of food

  • buy only the absolutely necessary amounts of food – if you eat out more, you don’t need to have a full fridge,
  • make sure the size of the package suits your needs – buying large packages is not worth it if some of it ends up in the trash later.

Store food correctly:

  • make sure that the food is stored according to the manufacturer’s recommendation indicated on the packaging,
  • in the case of perishable foods, do not disturb the cooling mode,
  • some types of fruit and vegetables do not tolerate each other, so it is advisable to store them separately,
  • check your food supplies regularly.

Try to consume all the food you buy:

  • use all leftover food when cooking,
  • cook creatively and invent new food combinations,
  • use special cookbooks to help you prepare meals from the leftovers you find in the fridge.

About the Author

Sarah Gáliková is a Slovak girl with a passion for writing interesting articles and photography. She studied Economics and business, however her true affection is English language. Sarah’s free time mostly consists of nature, great books and a camera.

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