Journey to Zero Food Waste
One of the largest retailers in the world, Tesco, has pledged to eliminate food wastage by March 2018. By using FoodCloud, an app developed by two Trinity College Dublin graduates, Tesco is able to itemise the surplus food of each store and send this information to local charities for collection.
The number of people in the UK relying on food banks has increased by seven per cent in the last year, according to Independent. By adopting this initiative, Tesco hopes to lighten the burden on chairities. This way, these charities can “spend the money on other things, like the cost of housing two more addicts, or providing much more needed services,” said Dave Lewis, Tesco’s chief executive, in his interview with The Telegraph.
In Britain, 7.3m tons of food waste comes from households, which is much more than the food waste of the agricultural industry and retail sector combined. The agriculture industry contributes 1.7m tons, while the retail sector has 0.2m tons.
In Singapore, food waste is no less problematic. According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), the amount of food waste has surged by 40 per cent in the past decade.
“Singaporeans spend a lot of money on food and love eating, so there is a good reason to waste it,” said activist Tristram Stuart, who recently paid a visit in Singapore as part of National Geographic Live!, a series of events where scientists and explorers share their work.
An infographic on The Food Bank Singapore reveals that nine out of ten Singaporeans are actually concerned about food waste. So why is food waste still a problem in Singapore?
“Most people here know that food wastage is a bad idea, but they do not use their consumer power by voicing their concerns,” said Stuart.
As part of its initiative to reduce food waste in Singapore, The Food Bank Singapore has launched The Food Pantry in April 2016, where products with short self lives are sold for as low as $1 each. These items are donated but not ideal for re-distribution due to too short a shelf life. Money raised from the sale of products from The Food Pantry will be used to cover manpower, utilities, rental and other packaging expenses.
What about unfinished cooked food from the previous meals? Clean & Green Singapore has a 40-page handy guide available online, which includes recipes using leftovers. These 20 creative recipes are the winners of Love Your Food contest, where contestants were invited to submit recipes using leftovers.