#Waste2Wealth: A mouthful of your food journey | WWF South Africa

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#Waste2Wealth: A mouthful of your food journey

Ahead of the Living Planet Conference on 27 July, here are some facts about your food waste to chew on.

When we waste food, everything it took to make that food is wasted too – the nutrients in the soil; the water; the energy in the fertiliser, diesel and electricity and the human effort.

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5 fast facts:
  1. In South Africa, one third of our available food is wasted every year – equivalent to six soccer stadiums! The estimated value of this waste is R61.5 billion, excluding disposal costs.
  2. The transportation of food is the biggest cause of freight emissions in South Africa.
  3. Global food wastage is responsible for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions because wasted food leads to the production of carbon dioxide and methane.
  4. Food waste is also a waste of the world’s land – 60% of which is used to grow food!
  5. If current behaviour remains unchanged, food production would have to increase by 70% to feed the expected 9 billion people in the world by 2050.
What is WWF doing around food?
Our food waste work focuses on three areas: research to determine the scale of the problem and better understand the causes; testing and piloting possible measurement and mitigation approaches and promoting collaborative government and business action.  
In the high-emitting food transport sector, WWF is catalysing action with suppliers to reduce carbon emissions.
WWF also proactively works across the main food production sectors including sugar, wine, beef, dairy and seafood. By considering the full value chain – from nature to consumer – responsible production practices can be embedded that ensure better use and management of natural resources, as well as reducing the negative impact on the environment.
What can you do?
  • Regularly check food items for the ‘best before’ date and if you won’t use it in time, give it away. The ‘sell by’ date is for the supermarket, not the customer.
  • Store food in creative ways to ensure it is seen, check the fridge and cupboard for available ingredients before shopping and get creative based on the foods that need to be used.
  • Plan your meals and prepare the right quantities of food or freeze what is left over.
  • Serve up only what you know you will eat, and allow family members to do the same.
  • Use most if not all parts of your food – eat the whole food item from top-to tail. Vegetable peels and off cuts make amazing broths and soup bases, and offal can be used to make wholesome pet food for your dog or cat! 
What’s your junk status? #waste2wealth
On 27 July WWF is hosting the 2017 Living Planet Conference, where we bring together exceptional experts in the food, energy and water sectors to share solution to the challenge of waste. Join the livestream as we think differently, consume wisely and act collectively. Bookmark the page now.

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