Globally, food wastage can amount to between 50% and 60% of all food produced which adds up to be approximately 1.3 Billion Tonnes of waste and $400 Billion worth. While a lot of it does occur in the consumption stages of our homes, food wastage happens at all levels of the food supply chain from production to consumption. In the United States, one third of produce on farms goes to waste. This is sometimes to due limited facilities to store the produce, or logistical dramas, but the largest contributor to farm food wastage is the cosmetic appearance of the produce. This sparked the “Ugly Food Movement” where people began seeking out the imperfect foods to use in their own homes.
Australia was one of the first nations to get involved, with large retailers ‘Woolworths’ and ‘Harris Farms’ releasing their “Odd bunch” and “imperfect picks” range. Other major chains around the world including Tesco, Walmart and Jamie Oliver embraced the movement also. An issue struck though with restaurants. While consumers were happy to eat imperfect foods at home, they were still demanding perfect when dining out, therefore restaurants were not adjusting their consumption behaviours.
How can You Make a Difference?
- Shop the ugly market! Fruit and veg doesn’t need to look perfect to taste great. Embrace the odd features.
- Reduce what you are buying and monitor your portion sizes. If you are always buying a whole bag of carrots and never using them, perhaps start buying 2 or 3.
- Any left overs can be refrigerated for lunch the next day or frozen to be eaten on a time poor day
- Any left over produce i.e. half a sweet potato, part of an onion etc that doesn’t get used when cooking a meal during the week can be saved an used in a ‘Franken-dish’ on the weekend. There are websites and apps that can help you find recipes based on the ingredients you have left over.