The impact of food waste
It’s a no-brainer that food waste is a fall from grace. You don’t just waste food, you waste money as well. But that’s not all. To produce food a lot of resources are needed. When you waste food, you also waste the energy used for growing, packaging, transporting and cooling the food. Besides that, a lot of water is used for food production and a lot of CO2 is being emitted. Because of this, food production has a big impact on the environment and by wasting it we burden the environment unnecessarily.
This means that when you rescue food, you actually rescue a lot of resources. And you’re probably thinking: but how much is this? Well, we took out our calculator and started to calculate. For the production of vegetables, fruit, fish and bread you need on average 2.300 liters of water per kilo. While producing it, 0,75 kg of CO2 is emitted. The impact of meat if even bigger. For 1 kg meat you need 10.125 liters of water on average, and 15 kg of CO2 is emitted.
After hearing these numbers and considering the fact that 1/3 of all food is being wasted, you can image that the impact of food waste is huge. By making conscious choices and not wasting any food, you can reduce your eco-footprint dramatically. With a four course dinner at Instock, you save around 2.470 liters of water. This is enough for 50 showers! You also avoid 1,74 kg of CO2 being emitted. So imagine… if you have dinner with four, you save 9,880 liters of water, almost 7 kg of CO2 emission and lots of energy!
Oke, so it’s clear that the food industry uses a lot of resources. But for what purpose are they being used? For example to cultivate land, to water crops and to heat green houses. But also to transport and cool the products. A lot of these resources are lost because 1/3 of all the food we produce ends up being wasted. And the biggest problem is that most of these resources are scarce and not renewable. The use of these scarce resources is not just problematic because we have a limited amount of them, they also intensify climate change.
CO2 is a big evil-doer, it enhances climate change enormously. In livestock farming a lot of CO2 is being emitted, but also methane gas. The effect of methane gas is 23 times stronger than the effect of CO2. Besides that, livestock needs a lot of food, which enlarges the foot print of meat and dairy products even more. Because of this, meat and dairy products have a big hidden impact on climate change. But how much CO2 is being emitted unnecessarily because of food waste? Well, massive amounts! If food waste and food loss were its own country, it would be the third largest emitter of CO2 in the world. Only China and the US emit more CO2… More than enough reason to reduce food waste! We’ve got some tips and tricks against food waste for you on our blog and Instagram.
Porcelijn, B. (2016). De verborgen Impact. Alles wat je wilt weten en wat je kunt doen om eco-neutraal te leven. Amsterdam: Think big act now.