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Earth Day 2024: Follow these simple ways to reduce food waste

Earth Day is an annual celebration. It is observed on April 22. This year will mark the 54th celebration of the event. The theme for World Earth Day 2024 is ‘Planet vs Plastics’. The theme aims to bring attention to the serious issue of plastic pollution and how it harms nature.

As per studies, an estimated 1.3 billion tons of food — 14 per cent of all produced — is lost or wasted globally every year. 1.3 billion tons of food is enough to feed over three billion people. Food waste contributes to nearly eight to 10 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

The greatest contributors to food waste are high-income countries, where the average consumer wastes between 95-115 kilograms of food per year. In Canada, approximately 60 per cent of food produced is lost or wasted per year, costing an estimated $49.5 billion. This figure constitutes about half the annual food purchase costs in Canada and three per cent of Canada’s 2016 GDP.

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 Simple steps to reduce food waste:

1. Meal Strategy: Plan your meals for a week, in advance. It keeps you from overspending on food that you do not require. Plan your meals so that you don’t use the same ingredients in every recipe.

2. Manage Leftovers: Label and freeze any leftovers if you think you’ll not be able to consume them at least in the next three days of preparing the item. It is also important that you organise your freezer regularly to prevent food from getting expired or being thrown out due to freezer burn.

 3. Appropriate Storing: Each food item requires particular storing techniques and you must follow them to reduce wastage. For example, store potatoes and onions in a cool, dark spot, fresh herbs in a glass of water, tomatoes and bananas on the counter, and greens in a plastic container with a paper towel inside the crisper drawer.

4. Reuse Leftovers: Find innovative ways to use all parts of vegetables or meat, instead of throwing them away.

5. Composting Practices: Composting food waste in your backyard is a method to nourish your garden and keep food from going to complete waste.



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