- 04 October 2012
Against a background of spiralling energy costs and pressure on spending power, the issue of food waste continues to be a challenge facing consumers both in Ireland and Internationally. At the moment stop food waste believe that food wastage is equivalent to 87kg’s per capita in Ireland. This equates to around €700 for the typical Irish household. While no exact measurement of the types of food discarded by Irish households has been undertaken, work carried out by WRAP in the UK believes that up to one third of food purchased is thrown out. Around half of all salads are thrown out, along with a third of bread and a quarter of fruit.
In the US, the level of food waste is even higher. The US food advocates Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute believe that food waste is equivalent to 177kgs per capita. Tackling this level of waste will become increasingly important as the global population grows by a further two billion between now and 2050 given the finite level of resources available to feed the world.
Technology has a major role to play in tackling the issue in terms of extending the shelf life of food products along with providing reminders to consumers that the best before date of a particular product is approaching. Technology will also play a role in helping divert waste from landfill towards productive uses such as animal feed, waste-to-energy, and composting.