Save food, save money

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Ecowatch - See also how meat harms the health of peo­ple and the planet –

IKEA aims to halve food waste at its restau­rants by mid-2020.

This huge fur­ni­ture re­tailer also runs one of the world’s big­gest restau­rant chains, and its aim is both to save money and reduce its own eco impact.

Food waste at each of the Swedish com­pany’s nearly 400 in-store self-ser­vice out­lets, known for their trade­mark meat­balls, av­er­ages some 300kg ev­ery­day, noted Ylva Mag­nus­son, a spokes­woman for Ikea Food Ser­vices.

Restau­rant and gro­cery chains are un­der grow­ing pressure to reduce food waste. With around 650 mil­lion restau­rant vis­i­tors last year, Ikea threw away some 43,000 tonnes of food.

A scheme launched in De­cem­ber at 84 of its restau­rants mea­sured what was thrown away, and at what time of the day and week. This re­sulted in 79 tonnes less food waste as the amounts it cooked were bet­ter tailored to de­mand.

“Based on an aver­age dish price of 5 eu­ros (RM24), we have avoided throw­ing 880,000 eu­ros (RM4.2mil) in the bin,” Mag­nus­son said of the ini­tia­tive, which will now be rolled out across all mar­kets.

The United Na­tions says a third of food pro­duced is not eaten, and food loss and waste ac­counts for US$940bil (RM4 tril­lion) in eco­nomic losses and 8% of green­house gas emis­sions an­nu­ally. Its 2016 Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals called on all states to halve food waste by 2030.

The “food res­cue” group OzHar­vest of Aus­tralia adds that:

● Ev­ery year, con­sumers in rich coun­tries waste almost as much food (222 mil­lion tonnes) as the en­tire net food pro­duc­tion of sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa (230 mil­lion tonnes).

● Food loss and waste also amount to a ma­jor squan­der­ing of re­sources, in­clud­ing wa­ter, land, en­ergy, labour and cap­i­tal and need­lessly pro­duce green­house gas emis­sions, con­tribut­ing to global warm­ing and cli­mate change.

● If food is wasted, it means that all the re­sources used to make that food are also lost. For ex­am­ple, 16,000 litres of wa­ter goes into cow food to make just one ham­burger. The green­house gas emis­sions from the cows (es­pe­cially meth­ane) also cause global warm­ing. – Agencies

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