Stop Food Waste - Make the most of your food

Date released: Jan 23 2018, 11:12 AM

Irish householders on average throw out €700 worth of food every year. This week the EPA is running an awareness campaign called Food: Make the Most of It, highlighting food waste issues and encouraging everyone to make the most of their food.

Odile Le Bolloch from the EPA said,

“Many people have resolved to be a little greener this year and tackling your food waste is a good place to start. If every day each of us tries to reduce the amount of waste we dispose of, this has the potential to have a real impact. Our campaign this week includes providing practical tips to make the most of our food. Reducing food waste offers simple and no cost actions that anyone can take. You don’t need to invest in expensive equipment before you start reaping the benefits. Remember, when it comes to reducing food waste you can stop throwing your money away!”

Though the individual amounts may seem small, when added up the total volume of food waste produced in Ireland every year adds up to over 1 million tonnes. Some of the most common types of food we throw away include meat and fish, dairy products, bread, and fruit and vegetables. Stop Food Waste has developed an A – Z of Foods, a handy resource that provides ingredient specific tips to make the most of these common food items that often go to waste. The A-Z of Foods provides information about buying, storing, freezing, cooking and using up foods – from Apples to Yoghurt. 

Speaking about the campaign, Laura Burke, Director General, EPA said,

“The EPA is committed to providing leadership and support towards reducing food waste through our Stop Food Waste programme. Stop Food Waste has been raising awareness, engaging communities and small businesses and building capacity for food waste prevention around the country. Through the Stop Food Waste Challenge, for example, communities are working together to learn and share ideas about reducing food waste. And for food waste that cannot be prevented, Master Composters around the country are trained on all aspects of home composting.”

Led by existing good practice and strong political commitment, people are being encouraged to take action and achieve an Ireland where food is consumed, not wasted.  The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten T.D. said,

“Raising awareness about the common foods that people throw away and the good habits people can adopt to reduce food waste in their homes is important. I am delighted to support the Stop Food Waste awareness week. Reducing food waste has been a key priority for me since coming into office. This week’s campaign urging people to make the most of their food will not only show people how they can reduce their weekly shopping bills, it will have an impact on reducing food waste disposal underpinning our ongoing commitment to reducing household waste.”

Notes to Editor

Why food waste?

The complex reasons for food waste, the scale of it, make this a tough problem to tackle. Food waste can arise for many reasons at various points in the food supply chain. For example, at the early stages of agricultural production, crops may be grown which are never harvested, or they may be harvested but wasted due to damage or fluctuations in demand. Retailers may throw away out of date or imperfect stock, and restaurants may throw away food left on plates by their customers. Householders can throw away food because they buy too much or don’t use it on time.  Often businesses and householders may not be aware of the amount of the food waste they produce. Each group will have their own solutions for reducing food waste.

Stop Food Waste Programme

See http://stopfoodwaste.ie/. Community groups can sign up to take the Stop Food Waste Challenge.

UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

The EPA plays a significant role as part of Ireland’s team in working towards achieving the food waste reduction goal of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  Ireland is among 200 countries that has signed up to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  These goals include a specific commitment on food waste: “By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including postharvest losses.”

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