The waste is part of our society and, although many times we do not perceive it as such, it is a problem that It has a very negative effect on the planet.. We consume more than we need and we fill the waste containers which further aggravate the carbon footprint we generatethat is, the amount of CO₂ that we send into the atmosphere each year.
One of the most important forms of waste is food. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) calculates that the food waste generates 3.3 billion tons of CO₂ – between 8% and 10% of global emissions-, which its production consumes 250 km³ of water and what is used 28% of the planet’s agricultural surface.
The point 12 of the Sustainable Development Goalswhich refers to the responsible production and consumptionhas as one of its main goals halve food waste in all its phases by 2030: from production, to marketing and final consumption. Therefore, to combat this problem, it is necessary to action of all the actors involved and, any action, no matter how small, always adds up.
That would be the case Ametller Originthe Catalan food group born in Olerdolawhich since 2001 has always been committed to bringing the healthy, tasty and nutritious food to customers. Its business model, which integrates the agricultural production, the elaboration of products and the commercialization through its 124 storeshas always taken into account the sustainability. And one of the main pillars has been the fight against food waste with the introduction of measures in each of its processes.
How much food is wasted in Spain and Catalonia?
The situation in Spain Y Catalonia It is no better than the rest of the world. During 2020, 1,363 million kg of food was wasted in Spanish householdsaccording to the latest data available from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA). The 75.3% wasted food and only 1 in four households did not. In the case of Catalonia, the Generalitat calculates that they waste each year more than 260,000 tons and that 58% is produced in homes.
One of the most shocking data from the MAPA study is the one that refers to the food that is thrown away without being touched: 1,038 million kg. Of this amount, the fresh produce such as fruit (32.1%), vegetables and greens (13.6%) or the bread (4.8%) are the ones who waste the most.
In the case of recipes – already cooked dishes – were wasted in 2020 almost 325 million kg. In this case they are the meat-based dishes (14.6%), the stews (14.1%) and the soups (12.7%) those who lead the amount of products wasted in homes.
8 tips to avoid food waste
The Consuming patterns, looking at the data, are the cause of food waste in homes. And, in this sense, with some small changes in our buying habits the situation could be improved. From Ametller Origin stand out 8 useful tips that would prevent a significant part of food waste at home:
Before you go shopping
1. Check the fridge: Do not buy food that you already have and that you will not have time to consume.
2. Plan the weekly menu: With this action you will buy what you need to spend the week, taking advantage of everything you buy.
3. Go shopping without hunger: A study carried out by the universities of South Carolina and Minnesota showed that when we are hungry we spend 60% more when we go shopping. The problem is that these are products that we do not need.
during the purchase
4. Prioritize foods with an upcoming expiration date: Products with an expiration date soon, usually located in the first row of the shelf or refrigerators, are also suitable for consumption. The only difference is that you have to consume them before. This avoids 5% of food waste, which is what is produced in stores.
5.Use the fridge well: Order and cleanliness are essential. Each section of the refrigerator is dedicated to a type of product. For example, cooked dishes go on top and fruit and vegetables in the drawers.
6. Reuse leftovers: Creativity is one of the bases of the kitchen. If you have leftover food, you can prepare other delicious dishes and prevent them from ending up in the garbage.
7. Calculate portions well: Many times we sin too much with the famous “better than enough”. It is important to cook what we are going to eat and, if in the end there is a lot left over, there are options such as reusing it the next day or freezing the dish.
8. Check the labels: In Europe, 8.8 million tons of food are thrown away because the expiration date or best before date has passed. In the case of the second, for example, some products can continue to be consumed if they have been well preserved.
What does Ametller Origen do to combat food waste?
The Ametller Origin performances pursue, as their main objective,act fully in each of the phases of its value chain. “Our goal is to minimize waste and greenhouse gas emissions,” they say from the group.
The group uses fruits and vegetables with no commercial value for the preparation of prepared dishes and juices, among others. Subsequently, these products are distributed in its stores and restaurants. An agreement has also been reached with the Espigoladors Foundation to collect products from the fields that have lost commercial value, but are suitable for consumption.
Productive activity (workshop)
The group’s workshop also donates surplus food directly to social entities or those that are not suitable for sale because they do not meet quality criteria, but are in optimal condition for consumption.
In their stores they act mainly in three axes. On the one hand, Ametller participates in the “Too Good To Go” project to dispose of surplus at reduced prices, preventing it from becoming waste. Products are also donated to third-sector entities such as Cáritas, the Red Cross or Banc dels Aliments. And, finally, products with an expiration date are marked with a 25% discount in all stores from 2021.
This will be the new law against food waste
The government On June 7, the bill for the Prevention of Food Losses and Waste was approved. This regulation, the third of its kind in Europewill aim to reduce food waste in all its phases and will also establish a penalty system if the measures are breached.
Among the measures, it will be established that businesses with more than 1,300 m2 or institutions such as health or educational centers have a specific plan against food waste, the hotel industry must make leftovers available to customers, the donated food will have to have agreements to ensure their useful life throughout the distribution chain or, for example, unsold products will have to be reused and in good use to manufacture other products, animal feed or obtain biofuels.