Mid North Coast communities are being asked to step up and fight food waste this Stop Food Waste Day on Wednesday, April 28.
Organisers of the international day of action say around 33 per cent of all food produced globally is wasted every year and that food waste is central to some of the key challenges around the world today, including climate change, health and wellbeing, hunger and poverty, and the sustainability of agriculture and oceans.
If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. The good news is it is so easy to make a difference both for the planet and your hip pocket.
MidWaste project officer Wendy Grant said Stop Food Waste Day provides an opportunity for everyone to look at how much food they throw away and make some simple changes to reduce food waste, save money and help the environment.
"Around one in every five shopping bags full of food we buy ends up in the bin, which means the average family is wasting up to $4,000 every year throwing away food," Ms Grant said.
"In NSW we throw away around 800,000 tonnes of food to landfill every year. When we waste food, we also waste the energy, water and natural resources used to grow, package, transport and sell it.
"We can all play a part to tackle the global food waste crisis at home in our own kitchens.''
MidWaste's six steps to stop food waste
1. Know your waste - collect your food waste for a week and you might be surprised to see how much you're really throwing away.
2. Plan your meals - avoid mealtime stress and make the most of what you have on hand.
3. Shop with a list - save time at the shops, reduce your food bill and stop doubling up on items.
4. Perfect portion sizes - eat well, save money and maintain a healthy weight.
5. Keep it fresh - learn how to store things properly for longer lasting, better tasting food.
6. Love your leftovers - leftovers make for a great lunch, a night off cooking or the base for a new recipe creation.
To tackle food waste across the Mid North Coast, MidWaste and local councils have teamed up with the NSW Environment Protection Authority's Love Food Hate Waste program to roll out the free online Food Smart program.
"By joining the free Food Smart program, which involves a step-by-step guide and handy resources to reduce waste, your family can make small changes that add up to big savings and protect the environment," Ms Grant said.
Sign up to stop food waste at www.midwaste.org.au/food-smart
The campaign is a Waste Less Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.
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