How much food do we waste?
In Ireland there is over one million tonnes of food waste disposed of each year. Around 1/3 of this comes from households and means that, at home, each person is throwing out about 80kg of food waste each year.
This may not sound like a lot on its own but when we add it up for all the people in Ireland it means that over 300,000 tonnes of food going to waste each year in our homes.
While some of this food waste cannot be avoided the majority of it could be saved if we managed our food better. And this would save us all some money!
In general, there are 3 types of food waste thrown out:
- 60% is avoidable food waste and includes food like plate scrapings, leftovers, gone off fruit and veg, passed its date perishables, etc.. This is the main area where people can save money and usually just requires a bit more awareness of how best to manage their food
- 20% is potentially avoidable food waste, things like bread crusts, potato skins, etc. These are food wastes that are often related to habits and, as with any habit, changing can be hard
- 20% is unavoidable food waste and includes things like chicken bones, banana skins, peelings, etc. Some of these items can be reduced (by better preparation techniques), reused (bones and veg peelings can be used to make stock) and even turned into an ingredient (see the banana skin curry recipe, though the banana skin is not for eating!)
Obviously there will always be some food waste but, by initially focusing on the first 2 types of food waste mentioned above, you could cut the food you waste, and the money you spend on it, by anywhere up to 80%!
Challenge: how much do you waste?