In recent times, food waste has been an ever-growing issue around the world. In Singapore, food waste is the largest contributor to the overall disposed household waste, attributing to approximately half of the average daily wastage in every local household. Food wastage in Singapore has shot up by roughly 20% over the past 10 years.
Singapore annually generates about 700 million kgs of food waste (About 2 bowls of rice per person per day). This discarded food goes straight to landfills and at the current rate of waste disposal, it is estimated that within the next 15 years, our only landfill space, Semakau will be at maximum capacity. Furthermore, the gas emissions produced by food waste are 25 times more harmful in trapping heat than Carbon Dioxide. As you can see, food waste is a pressing issue in Singapore and should be addressed urgently to improve food security in Singapore, as well as combat Climate Change.
Here are 5 simple steps that you can take to reduce food waste
1) Plan ahead and only buy what you need
We are all guilty of hoarding and buying things that we already have. Many of us have gone to supermarkets and have seen the loaf of bread that got us thinking if we have run out of bread at home when in fact, we had just recently stocked up. Preparing a shopping list before heading to the supermarket will prevent overbuying. Make sure to check your kitchen and fridge to ensure that you are indeed lacking the items on your grocery list. Doing so would help save the Earth as well as save your hard-earned money.
2) Make innovative use of your leftovers
Thinking of throwing away those bananas that are overripe? Think again!
Turning your leftovers into entirely new dishes is not only a great way to help boost your creativity, but it also saves you food and money as well! For example, overripe fruits and vegetables can be blended, cooked, or boiled to make smoothies, jams, sauces, soups, and so much more! While your other leftover meats and dishes can be combined and baked to create a casserole-styled dish.
3) Donate Excess Food
Excess food items can be donated or redistributed to other people. As individuals, we can donate our food to welfare organisations such as Food Bank Singapore, Willing Hearts and many more. Likewise, F&B business owners can consider donating food to charities, elderly homes, and other organisations. Alternatively, business owners can also sell surplus food to customers at a lower price to clear them faster. Just Dabao is one such company that implements this idea that benefits business owners, customers, and the planet.
4) Optimise your storage
We’ve all been there. We store meat in the refrigerator, thinking that we’ll cook it later in the day but end up ordering food online. Unfortunately, food often goes bad when inappropriately stored in the fridge. Placing food items in your fridge at the correct compartments and temperatures can preserve freshness and help your food last longer. Alternatively, freezing your excess food or buying frozen foods are equally nutritious alternatives.
5) First In First Out rule (FIFO)
FIFO is a management strategy where older food items are cleared before newer food items are used. This ensures that your kitchen is well organised, and food will constantly rotate in and out of your kitchen with less waste - Preventing food items from being left at the back of your fridge or cabinet to rot.
These are some quick and easy steps that people like us can take to combat Food Wastage in Singapore. So let’s do our part and make the world a better place.
What do you think of this list? Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!