Food wastage is a growing concern for many worldwide.
With 1 in 7 people in the world not having enough food to eat and one-third of produced food is gone to waste, food wastage poses a moral dilemma.
But did you know that the problem with food wastage goes beyond just wasting the food itself? It also contributes to other problems irreversible problems such as global warming and other environmental concerns.
In Singapore, food being thrown away is usually being incinerated and this results in our one and only landfill in Singapore, Pulau Semakau, being filled at an alarming rate – so much so that it is estimated that the landfill will run out of space by 2035.
When these foods make their own to landfills, it will start to decompose.
Decomposition will lead to the production of methane – a greenhouse gas. Methane is approximately 20 times more harmful to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, and this contributes to the destruction of the ozone layer and global warming.
Loss of Resources.
When food is being wasted, it also means that the resources used to produce the food are also lost. According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), it is found that as much as half of the water used to grow food globally is being wasted due to food waste.
The extent of water wastage due to food waste is huge – if the irrigation water used globally to grow all the wasted food could have been enough to meet the domestic needs of 9 million people.
Across the more than one million households in Singapore, about SGD$342 million dollars worth of food is wasted and thrown away each year – and this normal will only keep growing if we do not start to take steps to reduce our food waste production.
There are many different ways to reduce food waste as consumers and as businesses, like hotel chains. Together, we can make smart choices to reduce food waste and contribute to a more sustainable environment!