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food wastage


Other than rent, spending money on food is many people’s second-biggest expense. Don’t feel too bad about it, good food is essential for good health. However, heading into troubling the economic times of 2021, the food bill is somewhere we can cut monthly spending. Here are some tips to help cut down weekly shopping bills.

Internet shopping and vouchers

The internet is your biggest resource when it comes to saving money in 2021. The internet allows us to compare prices more easily, opt for the best deals, and seek out vouchers. Iceland Vouchers, for example, can save customers 10% on their food bill. There are plenty of ways to find good deals online thanks to affiliate marketing and the fight for customer’s attention.

It’s much faster to compare the prices between two supermarkets online than in real life, so it’s great to use this to inform our decision – even if we do eventually shop in the physical store.

Making food last longer

Making food last longer is one of the most overlooked forms of waste. Fruit and veg contribute to around 50% of food wastage – a statistic that is damaging the environment. This starts with better education surrounding storing different products. For example, potatoes and onions need to be in a cool, dark place, separate from each other so the gases do not combine. 

It’s also important to organise and utilise the refrigerator people, too. The bottom shelf is the coldest, and thus is where meat and fish should be stored, whilst dairy can take the top shelf. Cheese and other items that get opened then re-used should be re-wrapped in a resealable bag.

Bulk buying

Simple economics tells us that bulk buying is cheaper per unit. The reason for this is because companies save money on postage, packaging, and are happy to entice customers into bigger sales to offload stock. 

Customers can make the most of this by looking at the price per kg (or price per unit) that exists on every label in a shop. For example, the largest box of washing powder will likely be cheaper per kg than the smallest box (presuming it’s the same brand). Alternatively, customers can shop at wholesalers.

The caveat here is only buy in large quantity if you’re 100% sure that you will not waste any, or come to the realisation that you did not need that much.

Frozen over fresh

Frozen food has a bad reputation, but it’s often undeserved. Frozen vegetables have been proven to be fresher than non-frozen vegetables because they’re frozen right after harvest. Not only this, but frozen fruit and veg is significantly cheaper than fresh fruit and veg. Plus, you’re going to sidestep the trap of perishable food waste.

Plant-based diet

Being a strict vegan or vegetarian is a personal choice and opinion. What isn’t up for debate, however, is that meat is expensive per gram compared to plant-based foods. The only meat that is cheap typically highly processesed and therefore very bad for your health.

Cutting down meat, such as meatless Mondays, can be a big money saver. Using black beans instead of mincemeat in a Con Carne, or a vegan burger instead of a steak burger is undoubtedly cheaper and can still provide good levels of protein. Plus, vegan alternatives are getting cheaper as the supply has begun to increase.

A recent United Nations report reveals that the food the world wastes produces more greenhouse gas emissions than any country except for China and the US.

Every year about a third of all food for human consumption, around 1.3 billion tonnes, is wasted, along with all the energy, water and chemicals needed to produce it and dispose of it.

Almost 30% of the world’s farmland, and a volume of water equivalent to the annual discharge of the River Volga, are in effect being used in vain.

In its report, released this week, entitled The Food Wastage Footprint, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated that the carbon footprint of wasted food was equivalent to 3.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

If it were a country, it would be the world’s third biggest emitter after China and the United States, suggesting that more efficient food use could contribute substantially to global efforts to cut greenhouse gases to limit global warming.

The food the world wastes produces more greenhouse gas emissions than any country except for China and the US

The food the world wastes produces more greenhouse gas emissions than any country except for China and the US

In the industrialized world, much of the waste comes from consumers buying too much and throwing away what they do not eat. In developing countries, it is mainly the result of inefficient farming and a lack of proper storage facilities.

“Food wastage reduction would not only avoid pressure on scarce natural resources but also decrease the need to raise food production by 60% in order to meet the 2050 population demand,” the FAO said.

The report suggested improving communication between producers and consumers to manage the supply chain more efficiently, as well as investing more in harvesting, cooling and packaging methods.

It also said consumers in the developed world should be encouraged to serve smaller portions and make more use of leftovers. Businesses should give surplus food to charities and develop alternatives to dumping organic waste in landfill.

The FAO estimated the cost of the wasted food, excluding fish and seafood, at about $750 billion a year, based on producer prices.

The wasted food consumes about 250 cubic km of water and takes up about 1.4  billion hectares – much of it diverse natural habitat that has been cleared to make it arable.

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