Food waste also causes climate change

Food waste is problematic not only from a moral and social point of view, but it also has a great impact on the environment, being the third largest cause of greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions cause global warming and therefore climate change. The carbon footprint of food waste accounts for approximately 8% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions from food waste at the EU level are quantitatively equal to the total emissions of the Netherlands. Preventing one tonne of food waste means 4.2 tonnes of CO2 equivalent less greenhouse gas emissions.

What to do?

  1. Eat less food of animal origin

More natural resources are used to produce food of animal origin than food of plant origin. As much as one third of all arable land in the world is used to grow food for animal feed, thus reducing the amount of arable land where food for humans could be grown. In addition to large areas of arable land, a huge amount of water and energy is used in food production and processing.

  1. Eat seasonal food and choose food of local origin

Owing to its proper ripeness, food of local origin has a higher biological value, and due to the shorter distance from producer to customer, such food also has a higher nutritional value and contains less pesticides. The nutritional value of fruit actually starts to diminish the moment it is cut from its source of food and water and has to start using its own reserves. Shorter transport routes also mean less CO2 emissions and less packaging used.

  1. Avoid prepared meals.

Prepared food and meals may be appropriate for the occasional emergency, but they should not be eaten daily or even several times a day, as they are usually too greasy, too sweet or too salty. Prepared meals also contain a number of additives that food manufacturers use to extend their fresh look, taste and shelf life.

  1. Plan your meals and shop sensibly.

If you plan meals a week in advance, you can consume the food you already have and make it easier to write a shopping list. Never go to the shop hungry; consistently follow your budget and the amount of food you need. When storing food, follow the instructions on the packaging, and place new products in the back of the refrigerator and the rest in the front. If you have a poor sense of quantity, weigh the ingredients before preparation. If you still end up cooking too much, use a smaller plate next time. Leftovers can be saved for the next day or prepared food can be shared with family, neighbours or co-workers.

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