So much wasted food.
I recently read a report by the United Nations Environment Program that stated over half of the food produced globally is wasted, lost or discarded as a result of “disorganization in the human-managed food chain”. I honestly felt sickened to learn that food waste generally takes place largely in high-income countries such as the US and UK. Some reports estimate that 30 to 50% of all the food that’s produced is wasted before ever reaching the table. It’s hard to imagine that amount of food going to waste.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (or USDA) estimates that supermarkets annually toss out $15 billion of unsold fruit and vegetables. But that’s only part of the problem. Domestic food waste apparently accounts for over 50% of the total. That’s $165 billion in the US alone! I’m not saying that food waste only happens in developed countries, it’s a global problem and the reasons differ widely between countries and regions.
Many people don’t realize the impact wasted food has on the economy and the environment. By reducing food in the trash, we can potentially save our own money and help improve the economy. But the impact of food waste is not just financial. Environmentally, food waste leads to the greater use of fuel for transportation, land for growing, pesticides, water for irrigation and fertilizers. Food waste makes up the largest portion of solid trash in landfills, which is the greatest source of methane emissions that are even more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide.
I feel that it’s important to stress that we, as individuals, can really make a difference by changing the way we manage our food at home. It’s not just down to government legislation or the behavior of the food producing corporations. Just by being more mindful and making a few behavioral changes we could all make an enormous impact. When, as predicted, the world’s population passes 9.5 billion in 2050, the world’s resources will be stretched to breaking point. It will be necessary for us all to play our part.
There are many ways we can contribute to the conservation of our environment. One is proper and responsible waste disposal and composting the other is by reducing the amount of food we waste.
And you guessed it – There’s an app for that!
An EatBy App to be precise.
If you have an Apple or Android device, you can download an app called the EatBy App.
The EatBy App is designed to help you manage the food in your kitchen and save you money by reducing the amount of food you waste. This ingenious little piece of software helps you track your food in your kitchen. And it’s really quick and easy to use.
After installing the EatBy App in your mobile smartphone or even in your Tablet you can input the food items you have. You can type, speak, scan or select the food item which you have in your home. Then input the Use By date or shelf life using the date selector. The beauty of this app is it will automatically remind you when something needs to be eaten and you can see in an instant what you have in the kitchen and when to eat it by.
This app will eventually help you more carefully plan the amount of fresh food that your family will consume on a weekly basis and limit your purchases to that amount.
Download this app and join the revolution that saves you money and helps save the environment. And don’t stop at that – get others to join you. Even the smallest support, done by millions of people, adds up to a meaningful impact.
The EatBy App is internationally available from April 2015