This lesson explores the strategies that can be used by households to reduce food waste and make a pledge to commit to change behaviours.
Wasting food has a significant impact on our resources. When we waste food, we waste the resources used to grow it, such as water, soil, and energy. All the energy used to process, package and transport food to our homes is also wasted. The estimated annual cost of food waste to the Australian economy is $20 billion (National Food Waste Strategy 2017).
The 2019 Benchmark study Food waste – Western Australian Household Attitudes and Behaviours found that:
- Almost one third (30 per cent) of WA participants reported that they could not tell if something was safe to eat so disposed of it.
- 50 per cent of WA household food managers understood the meaning of both use by and best before food date labels.
- 45 per cent of respondents reported making extra food ‘just in case’ half the time or more often.
- A third of people (33 per cent) reported that at least half of the time, their fridge or freezer was too full to store more food.
- Less than half (47 per cent) of WA household food managers reported making use of leftovers most of the time, and over one third (40 per cent) rarely saved and used leftovers.
Research shows that there are several simple things schools and students can do to avoid food waste. Options include:
- encouraging students to take their food home (this can help families adjust what goes into the lunch box)
- having students choose items for their lunch box or help pack it
- cutting up fruit
- having students play first, then eat.