Globally, we throw away 1.3 billion tonnes of food annually…ironically, there are around 1.3 billion people going hungry every day. At home, Ireland households and businesses waste one million tonnes of food each year…that’s 2 ½ times Croke Park, filled to the top. Meanwhile, the world is growing exponentially with population levels expected to reach over 9.5 billion in 2050 and we won’t have enough food to feed them unless we do something now.
Food security and food waste are two sides of the same coin.
- In Europe, 80 million people live below the poverty line and among them, 30 million suffer from malnutrition. (Source: Eurostat and European Congress of Experts on Nutrition, 2009)
- In Ireland, at least ten percent of the population face food poverty each day.
On the other side of the coin is the unpalatable situation where
- 89 million tonnes of food are wasted in Europe each year and
- Over 1 million tonnes are discarded in Ireland annually.
Food waste also has severe environmental implications.
- Embedded water, energy, packaging and transportation costs are lost once a food product is thrown away, unused.
- In landfills, rotting food also releases methane, a destructive greenhouse gas.
It has been estimated that each kilogramme of food waste costs almost €3. This accounts not only for disposal but each of the steps involved with the food cycle in a business – purchasing, storing, preparing, cooking and serving. (www.stopfoodwaste.ie)
Wasting food wastes valuable resources and money.
- VOICE was the lead in organising the Feeding the 5,000 Dublin event in November 2012 where we highlighted the plight of food waste by demonstrating that a delicious meal could be created with food that would have been rejected by supermarkets…so called ‘ugly vegetables’. We fed nearly 5,000 people and had food give-aways, cooking demonstrations and an information tent. See blog here.
- VOICE has taken the concept of Feeding the 5,000 down to the local level by creating ‘Food Rescue’, where local communities work with their local shops and individuals to make a neighbourhood meal out of food that would have been thrown away along with other educational activities. See blogs.
- VOICE has worked with local communities to take the food waste challenge to reduce their food waste by 5 kg/week, thus saving money. Families can save up to €800 a year by reducing their food waste through meal planning, better shopping and storage techniques and creative cooking.
- VOICE has teamed up with Dun Laoghaire County Council to run a brown bin pilot programme in the Beacon South Quarter Apartments.
- VOICE is working with other organisations to raise awareness of food waste and looks to practical ways to reduce such waste and to redirect surplus food to Foodbanks. Bia Foodbank, Food Cloud and Stop Food Waste.
Interested in hosting a Food Rescue Event? Find out more.read more
Niamh Madden gives you three relationship tips so that you too can fall deeply in love with your freezer…read more
Cork’s ‘Feed the City’ event on St. Patrick’s Day Weekend a huge success!read more
As my few remaining apples drop from my apple tree, I came to wonder what everyone is doing with their spare apples/plums/pears this time of year.read more
Disco Soup in Galway City a Huge Success!!read more
VOICE and Bia Foodbank share the same vision to reduce food waste and to donate surplus food.read more
Given our world’s limited natural resources, food waste is a major concern. Here are some facts about food waste & natural resources that offer some food for thought:read more
What are the environmental implications of food production, transportation, distribution, consumption and disposal? See our Food Matters Leaflet.read more