An interesting article in a Dutch magazine has highlighted the amount of food wasted, from the moment it is harvested to the point that we throw it in our household bins.
Approximately 10% of the food we buy goes uneaten, and when you add the food that we don’t even get to buy - such as forked carrots that don’t even get as far as the supermarket, bruised apples or wilting vegetable removed from supermarket shelves, and produce with exceeded sell-by dates which do not necessarily reflect the eating quality - you are left with a huge amount of wasted food.
In a world where sustainable food production is very much the issue of the moment, it is crucial to reduce this wastage. Indeed Europe has set a target of reducing wood wastage by 50% by 2025.
The authors of a report titled “Reducing Food Waste” say we need to clarify what to do about food with expired use-by dates. It has been suggested that innovations in information technologies to help match supply and demand for various products could be a key tool, and that we need further advances in biochemistry to more accurately determine the shelf-life of food. In the future sensors in the packaging could be used to indicate whether food is still fresh. Perhaps most important of all with be changing the consumers’ attitudes and convincing people to trust their own judgement more than the sell-by or use-by date on the packet.
The full article can be read in Wageningen World Magazine: http://documents.plant.wur.nl/wur/WageningenWorld_0112_ENG_web.pdf