European Food Summit - Let's reduce food waste with knowledge and conscious handling

Let's reduce food waste with knowledge and conscious handling

Ljubljana, 29. 9. 2022

On September 29, we celebrate the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste Awareness.

We live in a time when rapid and sudden changes have become the only constant. This affects our well-being and consequently our everyday lives. In order to avoid stress and a feeling of helplessness, it is useful to arrange habits in a responsible and sustainable manner. One of the key areas is the attitude towards food, which affects our health, well-being, collective consciousness and, last but not least, Mother Earth.

Practical tips for reducing food waste

Why do we waste so much food? There are several reasons; from the fast pace of life, instant decisions, (bad) habits we do not even think about, as well as poor knowledge and misunderstanding.

Habits are something we do not usually pay much attention to and the same goes for food and eating on a daily basis. This means that our actions do not reflect our values. Respect for food also means a conscious attitude towards food and those who produce it. In practice, this means that we need to think holistically about food handling and we must not take it for granted.

Here are some practical tips which can help you reduce the amount of food waste in your household.

1. Let's take the use-by dates on the packaging into account

According to research by the European Commission, as much as 10 percent of all food is thrown away because people do not know or understand what the use-by dates mean. A good knowledge of the meaning of the dates on the food labels is a must for aligning actions and habits with values.

The label "best before" indicates the date until which the food retains the expected quality. This means that foods are still safe to use after this date if the storage instructions are followed and the packaging is undamaged, but they may be starting to lose flavour and texture.

The label "use by" indicates the date until which the food is safe to use. In practice, this means that you should not use these foods after the marked date has passed.

2. Let’s shop mindfully and prepare menus in advance

It is practical to prepare the menu for several days in advance. In addition to the fact that you will use up most of the food in the refrigerator, you will also be more efficient when shopping. Make sure to buy foods in appropriate package sizes, or perhaps even non-prepacked. (Hint: Shopping List)

3. Let's be local when choosing food

Given that we live in an environment that offers us a rich selection of seasonal food, it is beneficial, for us and the environment as well, to take advantage of it. Food for a better tomorrow means exactly that; respect for food, its producers, as well as the commitment to consume what we grow in our environment. (Hint: “Ugly" fruits and vegetables can also be just as tasty)

4. Let’s be creative when preparing food

It is not necessary to go shopping for each meal. Lunch leftovers might as well be used as a side dish or a snack. (Hint: Make sure to store leftovers in the fridge within two hours of preparing the meal).

Only together can we create habits that will reduce food waste.

Only together, we can change the world for the better. By changing your actions and improving your habits, you can contribute to a brighter future for all. If a quarter of the food that is currently lost or wasted in the world could be saved, we could help feed the 870 million people who live in hunger. Not to mention major contribution to the fight against climate change.

Can we do it? Yes, we can!