1/3 of the food you cook at home ends up in the garbage can. One in three portions. This is a reality, which we certainly can’t analyze within these few paragraphs. What we can do is try to create a small picture of how much food actually ends up in the garbage and is wasted. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – if even ¼ of the food that ends up in the garbage was saved, on a global level, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people all over the world!
This alone is a fact that can make us all change the way we shop, cook and – of course – the way we eat and what we do with leftover food. Each one of the “steps” just mentioned, creates a it’s own ripple in the huge scheme of things and it is something that we should all make an effort to do: respect our food and try not to let it end up in the trash! If all this isn’t enough information, the Agriculture Organization of the United Nations makes even more information available through their various relevant announcements offered on their official website.
- Each year, about 1/3 of the food produced worldwide, for human consumption – about 1.3 billion tons – ends up in the garbage.
- Fruits and vegetables, roots and stems are at the highest percentage of waste, more than any other food.
- The total amount of wasted food yearly is at 30% for cereals, 40-50% for roots, fruit and vegetables, 20$ for oilseeds, eat and dairy, and finally, 35% for fish.
- Each year, the consumers from rich countries waste the amount of food (222 million tons) that is the net production of food for the whole Sub-Saharan Africa (222 million tons).
- The food that ends up in the garbage in Latin America could feed 300 million people. Finally, it may sound unbelievable, but the food that ends up in the garbage in Africa, could feed 300 million people.
After all of this information my friends, the only thing I would like to share with you is the following thought: I don’t know if you belong to those who believe that one person could change the whole world… But this is truly a change that begins from all of us at home and specifically from our kitchen! There is not one involved in between, apart from our hands that pick up this plate of food and throw it away in the garbage or leave the fruit and vegetables unused in the fruit bowls like they were simply ornaments…
What can we all do in order to “save” even this one plate of food from going to waste?
- Make a food plan - the meals of the week and the quantity of meals needed – and cook according to it.
- Put your leftovers to good use. Do you know how many foods can be made out of the day’s main course? I have a lot of ideas that you can put to good use, here! ;-)
- Eating out? Take your leftover food home with you! You can enjoy it the following day at home or at work.
All of us, here at Kitchen Lab, have found a wonderful and smart way to deal with all of our leftover food. We are a part of the non-profit organization “Boroume” (meaning “we can”) and the “Saving and offering food” program in order to reduce food waste in Greece. We actively support their effort and their message “Saving food – Saving lives” and “No portion of food goes to waste!” In 2017 we were able to offer 2,352 portions of food to “Boroume”, helping them assist public institutions all over Greece. We preferred to give the food made from all of our test recipes, to those who really needed it, instead of throwing it away!
If a group of people could do this, imagine what a whole area, town, city… country… or the whole planet working together can do!