There are a lot of hungry people around the world, yet there is a lot of food wastage going around. A study estimated that food waste for a family of four averages $2,300 a year.
The figure came from Jason Nguyen, a registered dietitian and nutritionist with the Monongalia Health Department, Infants and Children Program. He said that estimates place food actually thrown away at 30 percent, Wboy reported.
Olio pointed out that the total value of wasted food is a whopping $1 trillion. In the US, food waste represents 1.3 percent of the country's GDP. It represents a massive market inefficiency which does not persist in other industries.
Amid the huge wastage, studies show that 800 million sleep every night hungry. That means one in nine people on Earth is starving or malnourished. But each of these people can be fed sufficiently on less than one-fourth of the food that is wasted in the US, the UK, and Europe every year.
National Nutrition Month
To prevent further wastage of food, since March is the National Nutrition Month, the WIC Program is raising awareness of unnecessary food wastage through the campaign “Go Further with Food.” On top of the list of tips is to have a list when going to the grocery and sticking with the list.
Nguyen reminded consumers not to purchase anything extra or items that grabbed their attention but will also increase their shopping budget. He particularly warned against bulk buying, especially fresh items that will not keep for long.
He explained that it is often tempting to purchase items in bulk because there are savings, but the savings apply only if all of it is used. If not everything is used and the consumer ends up throwing some portions, it costs him more in the long run.
Another tip is to organize the refrigerator. Because heat rises, the coldest place is the bottom which often has drawers for fresh produce. However, Nguyen said that herbs and salad should not be placed in a drawer set for higher humidity. Fruits can be placed in an area with lower humidity.
The warmest area of the fridge is the doors, so Nguyen cautions against placing food there that would spoil. It is generally best for water, sauces, or condiments, he said.
The campaign will also touch on the difference between a use-by-date and sell-by date. The latter is a guide for groceries when to remove a product off the shelves, while the use-by-date indicates until when it is good to eat the food several days past the sell-by-date. However, food items that are past use-by-date should no longer be consumed, except for some canned goods and non-perishable items.
Meanwhile, Post South reported that Joy Regan, a registered dietitian at the Morehouse General Hospital, pointed out that fad diets such as the Ketogenic diet and Whole30 program are not healthy diets. She explained that it will initially make dieters shed the weight, but once you stop, all the weight is regained. It creates a yo-yo dieting effect.
Regan cited the Ketogenic diet which puts the body in a state of ketosis which is not a normal state. She pointed out that most fad diets can be harmful to the body because it cuts out entire food groups which are not healthy. Regan stressed that each food group supplies the body with its needs, and cutting out an entire food group is not healthy.
To help lose weight healthily, Jerry Haynes, the dietary manager of MGH Certified, advised people to prepare food in advance. This allows you to control easily portion sizes. He said it is important that you know what is in your food and fresh ingredients are always the best. Preparing food at home means you know what you are eating, unlike dining out when portion sizes could be too big, and the food is often loaded with fat and sodium.
More fruits and veggies
Regan added that eating more veggies and fruits is good as well as lean meats and more fiber. She cautioned against overeating and consuming too much processed foods. Eating small frequent meals is preferred over large ones because it stretches the stomach out and could take a long time to digest.
Beyond the hungry mouths, food waste is bad for the environment. Experts estimate that the land mass needed to grow the food each year that is ultimately not eaten is bigger than mainland China. In the process, the land is deforested, species are driven to extinction, indigenous people are moved, and soil is degraded to produce food that is eventually thrown away. Uneaten food also accounts for 25 percent of all freshwater consumption globally.
The website said that if food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the US.
[researchpaper 리서치페이퍼= Vittorio Hernandez 기자]