Updated 16 October 2013

One third wasted

Do you throw food away? A staggering one third of food produced for human consumption is wasted each year.


Not only does this squander one third of all the resources that go into food production, packaging and transport, but when the discarded food rots in landfills it produces methane, a major greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

Some tips for avoiding food waste:

  • Plan your meals a week ahead, check which ingredients you have and make a shopping list of only what you need - and stick to it.
  • Check that your fridge temperature is 1-5 degrees C and that the door seals properly.
  • Don't throw perfectly good food away: use up leftovers wherever possible. Slightly overripe fruit is fine to be made into smoothies and slightly wilting vegetables into soups and stews.
  • Put newly-bought foods at the back of the fridge and kitchen cupboards, and bring older items to the front so you remember to use them before their use-by date.
  • Use your freezer. Freeze food in batches; freeze sliced bread before it goes stale.
  • Serve smaller portion sizes so people will be more likely to clear their plates (our portion sizes tend to be bigger than is good for us anyway!)
  • Start a compost bin.

- Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor

Got a good green tip to share? Email me at or post on the EnviroHealth Forum if it's a planet-saver, we'll publish it.


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