Tools to help you minimize food waste
MANILA, Philippines – Food wastage occurs during different stages of production and consumption. Inefficient post harvesting methods such as storage, drying, transportation, processing, and packaging contribute the tons of food that is wasted every day. (READ: During holiday excess, combat food waste)
The United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization’s (FAO) 2013 report on Food Waste Footprint: Impacts on Natural Resources revealed that 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year.
In the Philippines, the 2008 National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) shows that every Filipino wastes 3.3 kg of rice a year. That's a total of 308,833 metric tons nationwide or equivalent to P5.3 billion worth of food imports.
With these alarming numbers it is hard not to be proactive and minimize your own food waste footprint. Luckily there are a number of websites and applications that can help you track the amount of food you waste in your everyday life.
- Food Waste Diary This is a tracking device to show you how much food goes to waste and how much money goes down the drain as a result of that waste. The first step in minimizing your food waste is to be aware of your eating patterns and by keeping a dairy you can identify the reasons, costs, and practices that cause your daily food waste.
- Love Food Hate Waste With this website and app you can track meal portions and search for recipes that maximize the existing ingredients and leftovers in your fridge. One of its more convenient features is the portion planner that helps you estimate the right amount of food to prepare during meals. This is especially helpful when preparing for dinner parties.
- Fridge Pal This app helps you manage your fridge and pantry. How often does food go to waste because you forgot it was there or it has surpassed its expiration date? By using the barcode scanner the app triggers reminders before certain products spoil. It also helps you track your food inventory and plan meals.
- Wise Up on Waste This app is useful for those who own a restaurant or professional kitchen. It helps you track where and when most of your food waste is coming from and the cost-saving benefits from reducing that waste. It also offers waste action tips, recipes, and ways to prevent spoilage.
- Food Waste Management Calculator This downloadable, Excel-based program helps you identify where food and money are going to waste in your current food system. You can create a profile and after inputting your data it creates a cost comparison of you current system and offers cost-efficient and food-saving alternatives.
The best part is that all these apps and websites can be used for free and are downloadable for iOS and Android. With these simple tools you can resolve to be a mindful consumer this 2014 and make minimizing your food waste a habit in your business or everyday life. – Rappler.com
Images of the refrigerator and smartphone via Shutterstock