29 Sep 2021

Sustainability Stories #13

International Day for Awareness of Food Loss and Waste
Did you know that 2021 is the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables ? 
When food is tossed aside, so too are opportunities for improved food security, economic growth, and environmental prosperity.
Reducing food waste can save or make money 
The collection and transportation of trash is an important cost of waste management practices. Reducing the volume of waste being sent to landfill will directly reduce the transportation fees. 
Resources could be conserved for more productive uses 
When food is wasted, so is the land, water, labor, energy and other inputs that are used in producing, processing, transporting, preparing, storing, and disposing of the discarded food. 
As per FAO's database, 1.4 billion hectares of land - 28 % of the world's agricultural area - is used annually to produce food that is lost or wasted. Food that is lost or wasted accounts for 38% of total energy usage in the global food system. 
According to Foodwise, 279 kg of food is wasted per minute in Mauritius. This equals 1120 meals that could have been distributed to those in need.  
Greenhouse gases generated from food rotting in landfills could be reduced to help mitigate climate change 
If food waste were a country, it would be the world’s third-largest emitter of CO2, after China and the United States.  
In Mauritius, 27% of waste to landfill is food waste. 
In 2020, Foodwise has avoided 876 288 kg of CO2 thanks to the food recovery.
Our food systems cannot be resilient if they are not sustainable. Hence the need to focus on the adoption of integrated approaches designed to reduce food loss and waste. The Rogers Foundation and VLH have been closely partnering with Foodwise since 2018. Through this collaboration, 3000kg of food, that is, 11882 meals have been redistributed to those in need.