Food waste in Italy has become a problem of great relevance, so much so that a national day aimed at raising awareness on this important issue has been made official: the National Day against food waste, February 5th. Let's see in detail why it occurs and above all how to reduce the problem of food waste. Why are foods wasted? Is it possible to stem the phenomenon?
Statistics conducted on the food waste topic indicate that in our country this problem is continuously growing, with a total cost estimated at several billion euros. Such data make us reflect on the dimensions that the problem has now assumed, and that can no longer be deliberately ignored. The main problem, which makes us reflect on the real dimensions of the phenomenon, is linked above all to the bad perception that Italians have of food. It's estimated that the vast majority of Italians buy food in supermarkets without first checking the expiration date, but not only: too many times the food is thrown away without evaluating further uses in advance.
But how is it possible to reduce waste? What are the behaviors that help us conduct sustainable nutrition? We can summarize them in the following ones:
- carry out an intelligent shopping
- pay attention to expiration dates
- freeze foods that are not intended to be consumed immediately
- vacuum pack food
- constantly check the state of conservation of the food
- use expired foods for composting
- choose organic products
Carrying out smart shopping means paying attention to what you buy, avoiding "improvised" decisions. Before buying food, in fact, you must first evaluate those that are needed immediately, without leaving the choice to chance (in this sense it may be useful to make a list of products). If you cooked an excessive amount of food, it would be useful to try to unleash your creativity to create unprecedented leftover recipes: before throwing... try looking for fun ideas on the web, ideas will not be missing!
To reduce food waste, it's also very important to pay attention to the refrigerator, in order to keep an eye on the foods that are about to expire (to locate them immediately we recommend placing them in the center of the refrigerator, so as to keep them under constant control). A very important advice, which allows you to reduce waste, is undoubtedly that of vacuuming food (you can do it directly at the supermarket or, alternatively, buy a special machine). Overripe or dented food, however, shouldn't always be thrown away, because it can be used safely to make soups or smoothies (while spoiled food, or in any case expired for more than a week, can be used for compost, useful to give the nourishment necessary for plants). Remember that expired foods must not always be thrown away: in most cases, in fact, the expiring date is only "approximate" and the product can be used within the following week.