Effects of food waste
From its site of production, food is wasted at every point along the line until it gets to the final consumer. As a result, agriculturists, scientists, wholesalers, manufacturers, and the general population are implicated. The effects of food waste can be considered in different areas:
Environmental effects of food waste: On a global level, billions of tons of uneaten foods contribute to a large percentage of greenhouse gases emitted due to the high carbon content contained in them. In addition improperly disposed food on land account for an estimated 1.5 billion hectares, thereby making less land available for agriculture.
Foods disposed into water bodies, especially freshwater, end up contaminating them and rendering water unsafe for any domestic activity. Finally, there is a loss of biodiversity because, in an attempt to compensate for losses and yield more produce, farmers invade natural habitats and wild areas.
Economic effects of food waste: Food producers worldwide lose about 750 billion dollars every year, according to FAO. According to another report by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) in 2013, one-third of all foods produced end up wasting. Millions of people are hungry and suffering amid plenty.
The result is that the healthcare sector spends a better part of its resources on easily preventable illnesses acquired in one way or the other because of food waste. These are not just about the food itself, but about all the resources put into its production.
Causes of food waste
The causes of food waste are divided into:
Consumer related causes of food waste: This includes
Lack of proper planning. It is a common finding for people to buy large quantities of food without thoughts for how they would be stored or preserved. This may be because it is cheap or readily accessible. They end up spoiling, expiring, or losing appeal.
Poor consumer attitude to foods with a relatively little blemish. However, it is not uncommon for people to overlook an apple with a little dent for a perfect one. Due to this such goods will be less sold.
Industrial causes of food waste:
Food industries set up high safety regulations and protocols for food. While this is great on the one hand, on the other hand, it means that all foods that do not meet this strict criterion end up being accounted for as waste.
In developing countries, especially, there is a lack of proper management, insufficient funds, and difficulties with the appropriate technology and infrastructure for food processing.
Service industries such as hotels and restaurants over prepare foods because they are expecting a large customer volume. However, this often leads to lots of unsold food, which just goes to the bin.
The packaging is one of the major causes of food waste because, to make products as lightweight and as long-lasting as possible, a greater portion of the food gets processed out. For example, rice bran from rice oftentimes is processed.
Stress-free and effective ways of reducing food waste
Again, this is sub-classified for ease of understanding into individual and organizational ways of reducing food waste.
Avoid bulk shopping. As a result this make more frequent visits to the grocery stores around you and get only what you need for a short time. You may want to avoid impulse buying as much as possible.
Store food appropriately:
People usually have a hard time storing fruits and vegetables, especially. Some fruits, such as cucumbers, tomatoes, should not be refrigerated but rather stored at room temperature.
Eat the outer parts: The skin of fruits, chicken, and vegetables contain additional nutrients and are very useful. So you can confirm this with your doctor.
Reuse and recycle:
If you have pets, you can feed them with the excess foods you have rather than throwing them away. Also, you can reuse the plastics that foods come with for your garden, pets, or any other household activity. You can even make composts for your garden out of some foods.
As an Organization
Adopting ways of rationalizing foods effectively to everyone. For example, the use of food apps, such as Dansal, to connect with people. Since most people spend more time on their mobile phones, this is an effective means to reach out to them and avoid causes of food waste.
Balancing the market forces of demand and supply:
Food should be produced and supplied only according to the prevailing demand at that particular time. This does not only save food, but it also saves the costs for labor.
More such campaigns, the more the public will be informed on ways of avoiding all the complications aforementioned.
The way forward
Finally, Dansal is a free food app that helps people find fulfillment in sharing their food with those in need. Also it provides a platform that benefits even the food giver. Individuals who want to share their foods simply take a picture of the food they want to share and upload them with their descriptions. This provides the right channel for local shops, neighbors, friends, and even acquaintances to access food, rather than it just going to waste. It also has a booming volunteering network.
Imagine if you plan on going out of town for a while, or for some other reason you would not be in your home for days to weeks, and Dansal helps you with the right solution to curb wastage of the foods in your fridge.
Imagine the number of lives that have been touched; the friendships created, the fulfillment derived, and of course, the amount of money saved over time, all because Dansal came up with perfect solutions to curb causes of food waste as well as the effects of food waste.