So much food, so much waste…

-       on average, we humans waste about 40% of our food on its journey from the farm to our work
-       The trouble is that generating food is “expensive”
-       One reason for the increasing wastage of food is the shift from a rural framing life to an urban non-agricultural life.

-       Consumers are obsessed by the appearance of their fruit and vegetables, so the greengrocers have to throw out “imperfect” produce. In the supermarket, sometimes the packages of food are too large for us to eat it all, again leading to wasted food.

-       Sometimes we let the food rot in the pantry of fridge
-       Even when we choose to eat at a restaurant we only might eat half our meal
-       Averaged out across the USA, Canada, Australia and NZ we waste about 52 per cent of our fruit and vegetables, 50 Per cent of our seafood, 38 per cent of our grain products, 22 per cent of our meat and 20 per cent of our milk

-       So food can be wasted all through the chain that begins on the farm, then goes through the harvest, packing processing, and retail shops before finishing in our family household
-       On the positive side we can reduce the waste:
  • -       Shop more wisely
  • -       Learn to know when food has actually gone bad
  • -       Reduce the strict conditions of food standards by supermarkets
  • -       Buy “ugly fruit” à which can be seen in COLES and WOOLWORTHS
  • -       Only cook what we need and always use our left overs

Waste on the farm

-       It begins where the food is grown – the farm
-       Food waste can be an issue for farmers, who can struggle to meet supermarket specification on size, shape and even colour of food
“size is one that we come across quite often, people say this doesn’t quite make the size for what supermarket orders are, but the product is perfect apart from that”
 “ Farmers ploughing their crops back in to the ground because they don’t meet specifications happens too often. It doesn’t happen every day, but is does happen way too often. To turn it back into the paddock… it’s a waste and just another cost for farmers to bear.”
 -à Mike Redmond the head of South Australia’s vegetable farmer group, Grow SA
- Australians from all parts of the food chain must work together in order to cut back on food waste – from the paddock to the plate. This includes farms, industry, healthcare and food service sectors as well as households.
- Food waste is not only expensive, it places pressure on the environment as important resources such as water and energy are needed to produce, transport and sell food. For every one tonne of food waste sent to landfill, a staggering 750kg of carbon dioxide is released into the environment.

How much food is wasted in Australia?

-       Australians are throwing away food worth $5.2 billion a year, with the average household wasting $616 of food a year
-       Each year, Australians spend around $7.8 million on food which is thrown away
-       Australian’s discard up to 20% of the food they purchase, which is 1 out of every 5 bags of groceries they buy
-       Throwing a kilo of beef also throws away the 50,000 litres o water it took to produce that meat, throwing out a kilo of white rice uses 2,385 litres, and wasting a kilo of potatoes 500 litres.

-       More government support on reducing waste would go a long way

Finding a local solution
-       Try talking to people and consumers about the food they are wasting at fruit and vegetable markets
-       Celebrity chefs at local supermarkets perform cooking demonstrations to show how food that would otherwise be thrown away can be reused or worked into fresh meals

Eight simple ways to reduce your household food waste:

1.     Plan meals in advance, so that you only but the food you need
2.     Check the cupboard and fridge before you go shopping
3.     Store food correctly, be creative using leftover ingredient and freeze any leftover meals
4.     Compost fruit, vegetable and grain-food scraps, or use worm farms
5.     Choose foods with the least amount of packaging where possible and appropriate
6.     Reduce packaging by buying frequently used or long shelf life items in bulk, and portioning into re-usable containers. For example buying 1kg of meat and freezing into several meal-size amounts or buying 1kg of yoghurt and dividing into smaller portions to take to school or work
7.     Use sturdy, re-usable bottles for water and other drinks, rather than buying disposable containers
8.     Take re-usable bags with you to the supermarket and remember to carry a spare

Companies like OZHARVEST are helping Australia to reduce food waste
Oz harvest
-       The first perishable food rescue organisation in Australia that collects quality excess food from more than 2000 commercial outlets and delivers it, direct and free of charge, to more than 800 charities
-       The only food rescue organisation in Australia collecting surplus food from all types of food providers including fruit and vegetable markets, supermarkets, hotels, wholesalers, farmers, stadiums, corporate events, catering companies, shopping centres, delis, cafes, restaurants, film and TV shoots and boardrooms
-       Was founded in November 2004 by Ronni Kahn
-       Their mission
o   Rescue
Eliminates hunger and food waste through collecting quality food to donate to charities
o   Educate
Raising awareness to everyone about food waste, food rescue, food security and sustainability.
o   Engage
Getting the community involved
o   Innovate
Finding news ways and solutions to combat food waster and hunger such as using technology like apps that track what food you buy and when you need to use it.

Food security

Defined as:
‘ the ability of individuals, households and communities to acquire food that is healthy, sustainable, affordable, appropriate and accessible’

For people to be able to afford a nutritious healthy diet that does not cost too much is what they want and need and is not from a short-term food supply

-       people work at a local, national and global level to address issues of food security
-       Australia is one of the most food-secure nations in the world
-       We produce enough to feed the nation nearly three times over
-       Farming and agriculture account for nearly two thirds of the nations land – more than half of Australia is grazing country
-       Food security id a term often used to describe the availability of, and access to, food.
-       6% of our land is able to grow our crops, that is 460, 000km2
-       Soil in many arts of Australia are naturally infertile
-       In Australia we are in a lucky position of having enough high-quality food to feed our population
-       Australia faces challenges to food production, including climate changes, resource constraints (water, energy and land)
-       By 2025, Australia hopes to have built on its high level of food security by continuing to improve access to safe and nutritious food for those living in remote communities or struggling with disadvantage
-       Improving food security in remote indigenous communities is essential to reducing Australia’s overall level of food insecurity
-       Unfortunately over 5% of Australians experience personal food insecurity
o   1.2 million people cannot regularly provide themselves with a culturally appropriate, safe and nutritious food supply from a non-emergency source
o   There are many factors that contribute to this situation including financial stress, homelessness, unemployment, illness, geographic isolation, minimal access to transport and lack of education around food and nutrition
-       It have four elements:
1.     Availability
Food supply and trade, quantity and quality of food
2.     Access
How people can access food
3.     Utilisation
How the body benefits from the nutrients in the food
4.     Stability
Having food security all the time and getting rid of all food insecurity


How does food waster impact on the grain industry?
How can you and your community help solve the problem of food waste?

What is food waste?

Food Loss is where food never even reaches us, due to things like pests and diseases on farm, or spoilage on the way to us consumers. Food Waste is more superficial, based often upon appearance or lack of proper storage and organisation. It’s when food that is or once was perfectly edible meets the dump, before it needs to.

Food waste costs you, our farmers and our environment. Australian households waste over $1000 each on food a year, filling up almost half our bins. Globally, if the greenhouse gas emissions from food waste was a country, it’d be the third biggest contributor to climate change.

·      The main food waste impact and farmers wast there time growing crops 
·      A lot of water wasted 
·      A lot fertiliser wasted 
·      Also a lot of work and money is wasted and it could be used for other things 
·       Pre-farm gate: avoidable and unavoidable food wastes Very small amounts of public data relating to quantities of organic waste materials (crop waste, manure, abattoir waste) have been identified during this research. 
·      Almost one-third of food produced for human consumption—approximately 1.3 billion tonnes per year, which could feed the total global population of 7 billion—is either lost or wasted. In developing countries, food losses are mainly connected to limitations in infrastructure. Examples include: investment and technical issues unfolding pre-harvest (i.e. often non-existent biosecurity in the cultivation of crops), lack of managerial competence, lack of sufficient storage or cooling facilities, inadequate packaging, uncoordinated transport networks, or simply having to cover post-harvest food stockpiles using nothing more than thin blankets.

·        An app that helps you keep track of food dates – eg  cattle consume a lot of grain an water so when this is wasted all of those resources is wasted as well.

Oz harvest helps reduce waste by giving food to people who can use it.

·       If you have too much food: invite some people over! – it’s a good time to catch up and talk about food waste while you’re at it.
·       Educate people about how to dispose of their waste responsibly – in the right bin!
·       Asking people who own shops or bakeries to discount food.
·       Picking food that isn’t very hard to produce (not labour intensive) – local food.

How can you reduce FOOD WASTE in your school and community - Take the pledge!!

Matraville Archibull 2016