Prior to the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, concerns were already mounting over the amount of food waste produced by the United States. With the continuing spread of the virus, concerns over food security are ongoing. One of the most effective ways to reduce food insecurity is to reduce food waste. According to the Food Industry Association, "25% to 40% of food grown, processed, and transported in the US will never be consumed and that this current Covid-19 environment has only exacerbated the gaps in the system connecting food from farm to fork...". We can all recognize that food waste is not a good thing, but what do we do about it? Let's talk about a few techniques to help reduce food waste within our businesses and everyday lives.
Reducing Food Waste in the Office
Does your office team enjoy a good challenge? Why not try an office food waste challenge? The process of looking at how much food is being wasted can be eye-opening and by engaging your entire team in a process to reduce food waste, there is the potential to inspire waste reductions in everyone's day-to-day life. Take it to the next level and challenge everyone to reduce their food waste at home as well. A few simple steps, like meal planning and using up leftovers, are easy ways to reduce food waste.
In a Restaurant and Other Food Service Businesses
Reducing food waste in restaurants and foodservice presents its own unique set of challenges, especially with restaurants across the world facing other roadblocks trying to remain open during a pandemic. Try using a Food Recovery Hierarchy like this one from the National Restaurant Association. The first step is to reduce the amount of food being ordered if you find that much of it is going to waste. During the Covid-19 crisis, many food banks have been stretched beyond their limits. This presents an opportunity for local businesses to become food donors and reduce their food waste at the same time.
Many organizations across the world have stepped up to reduce food waste that has increased due to pandemic disrupted supply chains. Many of these organizations are implementing food rescue by redistributing food wasted to food-insecure individuals and communities.
If you are looking to reduce food waste in your business or home, seek out local organizations working to reduce food waste and help food insecure communities and individuals.