Food waste is a global problem.
The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD has urged people to do what they can to avoid wasting food this Christmas.
Every year, Irish homes and businesses throw out over 1 million tonnes of food. Householders waste €700 each every year, peaking at Christmas time. During the holiday season a large portion of wasted food occurs where the equivalent of thousands of festive dinners are thrown away.
Minister Naughten said: "By planning our shopping and cooking a little better, we can help cut food waste. The carbon footprint of wasted food is estimated at 3.3 gigatonnes globally. If food waste were a country, it would rank behind only the US and China for greenhouse gas emissions. My department supports the EPA’s ‘Stop Food Waste’ campaign and its website covers simple tips on how to do this.”
There are a number of simple ways that households can reduce the amount of food wasted within the home.
· Plan your shopping and meals;
· Know your dates and the difference between Use By and Best Before;
· Use up your left overs
· Dispose of food waste correctly using the Brown Bin or home composting.
The Minister has made combatting food waste a key policy priority. Halving food waste by 2030 is a UN Sustainable Development Goal and the Minister leads Ireland’s response to implementing those goals.
Earlier this year, Minister Naughten established an Action Group to combat food waste in the retail sector. Leading supermarkets including Aldi, Lidl, Musgraves, Spar and Tesco are members. The retailers have signed up to Ireland’s Food Waste Charter, pledging to take specific actions to reduce waste within their stores and they are doing so this Christmas.
Notes for the Editor
This coming January 2018, the EPA’s ‘Stop Food Waste’ programme will run a week-long national awareness campaign highlighting the food waste issue and providing practical help for householders to make the most of the food they have bought. There will be a number of events and activities taking place at a national and local level. More information will be available onwww.StopFoodWaste.ie
Stop Food Waste’s top tips to assist in better buying and food preparation this Christmas:
1. Make a shopping list checking what items you already have in stock before leaving the house.
2. Think back about last year and try to identify what items remained unused at the end of the season. Was it because it was an unpopular food item in the household or a product that was bought in too large a quantity?
3. Go against tradition. If there is something on the Christmas menu that nobody really likes or more probable that no one has room for, why not leave it out this year?
4. Pay particular attention when planning parties or dinners for guests. Try to limit the amount of quickly perishable foods served to what you know will be used. Unlike other times of the year the leftovers from a party are a hard sell when a house is full of goodies. Have some non-perishable snacks in stock which can remain unopened until the perishable items are used.
5. Don’t overstock on basics such as bread and milk. Supermarkets and local shops re-open very quickly after Christmas so there is usually less need to have extra supplies.