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Food Wastage : Things We Can Do To Reduce It

Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wastedFood losses andwaste amounts to roughly US$ 680 billion in industrialized countries and US$ 310 billion in developing countries - FAO
I don't usually buy the newspaper but sometimes, a thing or two pops up and I want to keep it or write about it. This is one of them : Punish Malaysians who continue to waste food.

Food, to me, is a very big thing...don't ask me why and how this started but it could have a thing or two to do with having kids, having to buy groceries, having to prepare and make dinner, and having been at the brink of starving because there wasn't any money left to buy food for the kids. Suffice to say, when you are at that stage, the reality of starving becomes very, very real and self-awakening.

1. First, learn about what you can and cannot keep in the fridge. This, I say from personal experience. Try keeping onions and potatoes in the fridge and you'll see why. Some fruits like bananas, pineapples, apples and oranges can and should not see the light of day of your fridge and freezer. Ever put uncooked carrots into the freezer? My kid did. The result wasn't pleasant. LOL

2. Shop intelligently for what you want and need. Vegetables don't last very long, this goes without saying but when you walk into a grocery store, most of us forget this simple rule, buy everything that catches our eyes and ends up throwing a huge bunch of them a week later.

By : Dan Wenger

3. FREEZE. Pop into the crockpot, turn into stews and freeze them to prevent them from rotting away. When you see your vegetables wilting and turning yellow or brown, it's time for some action in the kitchen. Turn them into stews, blend them and then freeze them instead of waiting for the right time to make something out of them because the time could be 2 weeks later. Trust me. 

4. FREEZE TAKE 2. Most of us end up with leftovers and pop them back into the fridge so that we can eat them again tomorrow, the next day or the next-next day. The next day may not come because you might be eating something else or are bored with eating the same thing again. Throw them into the freezer instead. 2 weeks later, it might become a surprise additional ingredient for a stew, fried rice or an extra side dish for dinner. 
The amount of food waste produced globally each year is more than enoughto feed the nearly 1 billion hungry people in the world - Greatist
5. Have an alternate plan. We buy pork when we have a plan to make char siew and we buy chicken because we want to make Hainanese Chicken Rice. What happens to it when things change or your kids declare war or char siew out of the blue? Have a plan B (C, D, E or F). With meal-planning apps (or just apps), Google and AllRecipes (and the likes), you can turn it into something else, for sure! Really, you can!

6. Have a we're eating all the left-overs day. Every week, have ONE day designated as the 'we're eating everything that's left over in the fridge' day instead of throwing it out. Most food can last up to 3 to 4 days in the fridge so, it's perfectly fine if you pop them back into the fridge as soon you can.

7. Learn how to modify food. Reheat, mash, shred, turn into stews or many ways to turn left-overs into something yummy the next or next-next day. Soups and sandwiches tops the list as easiest ways to make use of left-over food.

8. Give unsafe food that are in questionable conditions to local dogs, donate to farms to feed pigs or turn into compost. Or better yet, if you're into it, compost it yourself. I don't but you can. I have friends and relatives who do and I give them massive props for the effort all the time.

9. Can it, pickle it. Fruits can be turned into smoothies if you're wondering what to do with that odd apple, cherries, banana or tomato. Asians are fantastic with pickling and preserving things so, there's absolutely no excuse if you're an Asian. ;-) Racist but in a good way, yeah?

10. Sharing is caring. Made too much and don't think it's going to make it to the table for another round? Share it with a friend or relative, guys! Nobody ever complains about getting free food, remember that!

There's a very useful part in this article on preserving and composting food that you can read if you're interested in starting. I am astounded with the ways you can actually save almost-dying foods through ways like drying, freezing, canning, vacuum treatment, sugaring, salting and pickling.

Happy Sunday/Saturday (depending on where you're reading this from),

  1. The Star newspaper
  2. 10 Ways to Cut Food Waste
  3. FAO - Key facts on food loss and wastage
  4. 29 smart and easy tips to reduce food waste
  5. Think, Eat, Save
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