Before you throw away that sandwich at the office you forgot to eat, think about this: South Africa produces millions of food waste a year, contributing to food insecurity, greenhouse gases and waste disposal problems. That’s why thousands of delegates are meeting in Johannesburg in December for the 3rd Global Conference on Agriculture, Food and Nutrition and Security and Climate Change.
What can you do to help?
1. Don’t throw it away You can still use food that’s just past its prime. For example, blend fruit that’s going soft with a bit of yoghurt and voila! You have a tasty smoothie to start the day.
2. Buy what you need It might seem easier to buy a pre-packed carton rather than getting individual fruit and veggies weighed, but this way, you’ll buy the exact amount you need – so no wastage. The added bonus? You’ll pay less, too.
3. Start recycling It’s as easy as buying different bins and separating the glass, plastic and paper products from your rubbish so that they can be used again instead of taking up space in a land fill. While you’re going through the trash, throw the leftover food waste into a compost bin – your garden will thank you.
4. Practice FIFO That means ‘first in, first out’ – stack the older items nearer the front of your fridge or pantry so that you’ll grab them first. And be wary of throwing something out just because the sticker says it’s past its sell-by date. Expiry dates usually refer to the manufacturer’s suggestions for peak quality, rather than the date something will go off – so if it still looks, smells and tastes okay, you can still eat it.
5. Give it away If you know you’re not going to eat those apples, give them to someone who will.