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The Sustainability Series - Fighting Food Waste

The Sustainability Series - Fighting Food Waste

As a sustainable pioneer of conscious brands, Coalo is interested in looking at the bigger picture. How does Coalo fit in to a wider shift towards better buying habits, and in turn, a healthier planet?

Looking at the state of the planet and the strength of the downward spiral that we seem to be on is a daunting task. The list of problems is long, but we see them as being split in two by who is best placed to tackle them. On one hand there is government action. An example being the granting of less oil contracts or putting in place restrictions on diesel cars. Then there is consumer, or individual action. This would be encapsulated by the no-fly movement, whereby people drive action through small acts of change.

One area where both types of action can converge is in the fight against food waste. An interesting way to digest the facts is from an economical viewpoint. For instance, the value of food waste globally is $1 trillion and if food waste were a country it would be the third biggest greenhouse gas producer after the US and China.

The large proportion of this food is wasted after it has ended up in your fridge. Super-markets and restaurants are relatively good at not wasting food as they see any wastage as a dent to profit margins. Which, incidentally, is one way for households to start looking at food. If you were to take note of the value of your weekly food shop and started to notice that you were throwing away 30% of it, you would start to think about it differently.

In monetary terms is one way to think about it and will certainly benefit some households. However, to commit to long term change it would be more beneficial to rebuild our relationship with food. Really since the rise of the Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain in 1916, our relationship with food began to breakdown, becoming one of convenience rather than of necessity. 

Convenience is the common enemy in the fight for sustainability as it is the driving force behind most problem industries. So, in the case of food, we encourage taking time to plan meals, buying from farmers markets or local grocers where possible and reconnecting with cooking. If we all started thinking  and feeling a bit more like chefs we could start shifting the statistics in the right direction.

To start you on your journey to zero food waste, here are some businesses that can help and an inspiring chef:

OLIO - for sharing food waste and building a stronger community.

Too Good to Go - the food waste app to buy delicious food instead of throwing it out.

OddBox - weekly food box filled with odd shaped or surplus fruit and veg.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall - the original food waste pioneer.

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