Zero Food Waste:

A Sustainable Future

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Food waste is an ethical and an environmental problem. It’s also a business opportunity, ready for innovative solutions.

Companies across sectors are involved in finding solutions to food waste, according to Alexandria Coari, vice president of capital, innovation, and engagement at food waste nonprofit ReFED. That’s because food is wasted at every stage of the supply chain, from when it’s first produced on farms to when it’s consumed (or rather, not consumed), and every step in between.

Many companies are already taking action, whether they’re small start-ups with an innovative product or established institutions. But there’s plenty of room for others to get involved.

Amazing Solutions to Food Waste

Reducing food loss and waste is essential in a world where millions of people go hungry daily. When we reduce waste, we respect the labor, effort, investment, and precious resources (like water, seeds, feed, etc.) that go into producing it, not to mention the resources that go into transporting and processing it.

Balancing Food Production With Demand

Foremost, precedence should be centered on balancing food production with the demand to reduce the problem of food wastage. The first thing is to reduce using natural resources in food production.

Risk management tools can be applied in hotels, restaurants, and the food service industry, e.g., having a risk management checklist and restaurant technology software that help run operations and monitor orders and merchandising. This will ensure managers and chefs only produce and cook food according to demand or orders made.

Producing large batches of food has always resulted in food wastage. So in trying to save food, labor, and money, the hotels and the entire food service industry should work on producing small batches or using the cook-to-order option.

Improving Food Harvesting, Storage, Processing, and Distribution Processes

The second strategy should be placed on developing efficient technologies and production systems that better storage, harvesting, processing, and distribution processes.

Redistribution can be the initial strategy for supplying or distributing more food to where there is a need and reducing supply where food is in surplus.

Governments and NGOs should also improve harvesting, storage, and processing by availing subsidies and training on better production practices, especially in developing countries.

Food Waste Reduction Initiatives

Supermarkets, retail food outlets, big restaurants, and individual consumers alike can also work on their own tailored and creative efforts to reduce their food footprint.

For instance, individual consumers can reduce their food footprint by not necessarily placing a high preference for the very best food quality.

Sometimes even blemished food items are still edible or can be purchased and used to make dishes like soups. Over-merchandizing can also be evaded to minimize food wastage.

Consumers to Buy and Prepare Food With a Plan

Using meal plans to prepare food can go a long way in ending food disposal. Consumers should only buy food according to their plans or in small batches to reduce the food that goes to waste due to expiration after long storage periods.

Food Recycling

Food recycling efforts are underway, but the technologies and methods should be improved.

Starch-rich foodstuffs such as crisps, bread, biscuits, and breakfast cereals can be recycled into high-quality feeds for livestock.

Recycling food packaging materials can equally reduce the over-exploitation of virgin material. If it’s completely unfit for consumption, it can still be converted for other uses instead of being taken to landfills to emit methane gas.

Foodprint Campaigns

Campaigns for reducing food footprints can help fishers, farmers, supermarkets, food processors, individual consumers, and the local and national governments to work on strategies for preventing food wastage.

The UN and FAO have already launched such a campaign by putting emphasis on the “Think Eat Save – Reduce Your Foodprint” campaign slogan.

Moreover, with many more such campaigns, societies at large will be informed on ways to reduce their footprint and get the actual facts about environmental impacts. Ultimately, it will aid in solving the problem of food wastage.

Smart Solutions to Slash Food Waste

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