Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Food wastage: Time to get more businesses to do their part

I read the article, “5,000 free meals made from ‘ugly food’ to raise awareness about food waste” (March 25). It was reported that there is about 791,000 tons of food wasted yearly in Singapore.

NST file photo

NST file photo

I read the article, “5,000 free meals made from ‘ugly food’ to raise awareness about food waste” (March 25). It was reported that there is about 791,000 tons of food wasted yearly in Singapore.

I notice that most of the campaigns related to this subject are aimed at households, and the focus is on our shopping, food storage, and eating habits.

I am totally in favour of reducing food waste and have no objection to these campaigns. However, I would like to know what proportion of the food waste generated a year is from households and how much is from restaurants, hawker centres, hotels, food caterers and supermarkets?

While individuals or the household sector have been told what they should buy, cook and eat without wasting food, they are a soft target and this may not be the most effective way to tackle the problem.

Last December, the National Environment Agency said that it has collaborated with close to 40 organisations, including supermarkets, food retail establishments and schools, to promote food wastage reduction. It also urged businesses to take on a greater role in efforts to minimise food waste and to make use of guidebooks that the agency has developed.

I am sure more commercial establishments including hotels and restaurant kitchens can be made to take up sensible environment-friendly practices to reduce food waste.

One way for hotels and restaurants to cut down on food waste is to reduce the number of items on their menus. Instead of having 40 or 50 menu items, why not just 10 or 15?

In many countries around the world, the best restaurants serve just a choice of four or five main courses and this is based on what is available in the market, so the food is seasonal and fresh.

Why not convince consumers, be they residents or tourists, that it is chic, responsible and healthy to have fewer but healthier choices?

In an article by the Food Bank of Singapore, the organisation claimed that a 15 per cent reduction in food waste would have the same impact as taking 86,000 cars off the road.

There are so many reasons to reduce food waste and it is becoming urgent for our over-crowded city. In the past, pig farms in Singapore used to collect food waste for the pigs.

For households, if they have small, simple and inexpensive composting bins for their vegetable food waste, they may use the resulting organic matter or compost as fertiliser for plants or sell it to a nursery.

There is a great deal that can be done, but profit margins and business needs have to be balanced, to support initiatives to go green for the betterment of our living environment.

 

 

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.