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The community, represented by families, businesses and institutions that buy and consume the food carried by the cold chain, are part of the cold chain and must bear some responsibility for the way cold food is managed.

Some disturbing facts:

  • Household waste was found to constitute the largest proportion of waste across all stages of the supply chain (latest study released September 2021)
  • AUD$36.6bn is the estimated cost to the economy of food wasted. AUD$19.3bn of this comes from households. This is approximately AUD$2,000-2,500 per household1 per year.
  • Wasted food in Australia uses 2628.3 gigalitres of water across its lifecycle, meaning that eliminating this food waste would effectively save a massive 286 litres of water, per person, per day.
  • Australia produced 7.6 million tonnes, or 312 kg per capita, of food waste every year, and 70% of this is edible.
  • The consumption stage of the food supply chain is responsible for the greatest mass of food waste, and households (2.46m tonnes) alone account for more food waste than any other sector - almost one-third of the total. 
  • Restated, 71% of food that entered the market was directed towards households, and households wasted approximately 18% of the food they purchased.
  • Australians discard up to 20% of the food they purchase, which translates to one in every five bags of groceries
  • Up to 40% of the contents of your household rubbish bin is food
  • About one-third of the household rubbish in landfill is food
  • The average Australian household throws away $1,036 worth of food every year – that's enough money to pay an average home's power bill for half the year
  • Australians waste four million tonnes of food every year – that's 345 kilograms per household

Why is this happening?

  • We've forgotten how to use leftovers
  • Food is often mistakenly thrown out before the use-by date
  • We buy takeaways at the last minute, instead of cooking the food already in the fridge
  • We don't check the cupboard or fridge before we go shopping
  • We impulsively buy too much instead of sticking to a shopping list

The environmental effects of this food wastage are monumental.

When you throw out food, you are also throwing away the water, fuel and human resources it took to get the food from the paddock to your plate. For example, every time you throw an apple away, you are also throwing away 70 litres of water.

When your rubbish is taken to landfill dumps, it rots and gives off methane gas, which is 25 times more potent that the carbon pollution that comes out of an old car exhaust.

(Souce: Foodwise.com.au)



The following videos have been sourced particularly because they come from credible organisations, they can be viewed by the whole family and they will provide some compelling reasons why household and institutional food management should be improved to prevent gross wastage.


Food waste is a global and local catastrophe

A quick summary of the horror statistics of food wastage in the world.

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So much work and energy only to be tossed in the bin

Follow a strawberry from birth to grave in this emotional ad about food waste, the US Ad Council's new campaign for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Duration: 1.53

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The relationship between food wastage and our environment

Food wastage footprint - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations based on the findings of the food waste footprint project of the Natural resources management and environment department Duration: (1) 3.15 (2) 3.38

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Even a sandwich leaves a carbon footprint

What's the problem with wasting food This animation was produced by the Royal Society of Biology (UK) in partnership with Global Food Security for Biology Week 2013. Duration: 3.08

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Shocking report on food waste by supermarket chains

A shocking report on food wastage by supermarket chains. CBS News goes dumpsterdiving at Walmart to reveal how big grocery stores throw good food into dumpsters, part of a $31 billion a year problem in Canada. Duration: 22.26

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Landfills are mostly foodfills

The big waste: Why do we throw away so much food Filmmaker Karim Chrobog looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Duration: 10.15

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There are solutions – Foodcam might be one of them

This is the fourth episode of Climate Lab, a sixpart series produced by the University of California in partnership with Vox in 2017. Hosted by Emmy-nominated conservation scientist Dr. M. Sanjayan, the videos explore the surprising elements of our lives that contribute to climate change and the groundbreaking work being done to fight back. Featuring conversations with experts, scientists, thought leaders and activists, the series takes what can seem like an overwhelming problem and breaks it down into manageable parts: from clean energy to food waste, religion to smartphones. Sanjayan is an alum of UC Santa Cruz and a Visiting Researcher at UCLA. Duration: 9.22

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Some whiteboard strategies to feed 9 billion people

By 2050 there will be 9 billion people on the planet - but will there be enough food for everyone? Food security expert Dr Evan Fraser guides you through a whiteboard presentation of his solution to the Global Food Crisis. University of Guelph, Canada Duration: 12.21

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Some basic household tips for better food management

Food waste is the single-largest source of waste in municipal landfills. According to the EPA, 35 million tons of food were thrown away in 2012. But people are taking notice of our food waste problem and looking for ways to cut back on food waste. Check out more food waste reporting from NET Nebraska and Harvest Public Media at www.harvestpublicmedia.org/foodwaste. Duration: 28.45

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