And so the stinky, messy topic of food waste!! For me, food waste is the most guilt inducing waste. I especially hate throwing out food for a number of reasons – guilt over throwing out food when there are people hungry in the world, annoyance over spending money on food just to put it in the bin, disgust at having to deal with the slimey salad that was stuck at the back of the fridge.
Everything requires raw materials to produce and it is such a waste to have to bin anything. In the case of food there is the issue of water, transportation, labour, the actual ground used and the possibility of pesticides. Certain crops are very thirsty and involve a lot of oil to get transported to us here in Ireland. Certain popular crops are grown to such extent that the biodiversity and resilience of the local area is affected. Pesticides and insecticides are used to keep the crop looking good enough for us to buy and then bin.
Then if we put our food waste in the wrong bin we are causing more problems. Food waste sent to landfill does not harmlessly break down but instead releases methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide*. (mywaste.ie)
So what can we do about this? Cracking this problem is a win-win for our pockets and the environment.
On this front I have decided to set myself the challenge of tackling our food waste. And the first step of any challenge is to know what you are dealing with! So this week I am setting up an area on the worktop – container for my food waste, the food scales and a pen and paper. I am going to record what I am throwing out, its weight and why I am throwing it out. I am going to be following the Stop Food Waste Challenge on the StopFoodWaste website.
Hopefully this will show me areas that I can work on to reduce my overall waste. I am also going to be googling other uses for food waste that is unavoidable – our big one is banana peels!!
In the next few weeks I will let you know how we are getting on!! And hopefully you can join in on the challenge and tackle your food waste as well!