Food Waste: Rabobank’s Report

I was fortunate enough to be invited to Rabobank’s 2019 Food Waste Report launch back in November. The launch was to highlight food waste habits of everyday Australians. And guess what? It turns out that we aren’t so good at keeping our food out of the bins. Yes! Even with all this low waste and climate change talk in the media!

The launch itself, was incredibly insightful and I learnt a lot from the panel discussion and even got tips from the brunch menu which was made from food waste and scraps.

First some stats before I get into the bones of why I’m writing this blog post:

    • Australia is the 4th highest food waste contributor globally
      In 2019 household waste in Australia rose to $10.1 billion (which was a $1.2 billion increase from 2018!)
    • Gen Z are the highest contributors to household food waste – approximately $1,446 of food annually, up from $234 in 2018. And you read right! Baby Boomers are least wasteful of all Australians, throwing out $498 of their food. And us millennials come in second worse for food waste!!!
    • Statistics include eating out and food delivery services

You might be wondering what the purpose of this blog post is, and if it’s purely to point out some statistics. The truth is, attending the event made me think really hard about what I was doing in the kitchen – including how my money was spent on groceries. What really was going into the bin? How much money am I really losing by my food waste habits?

Food waste is still a struggle. It’s getting better, but I’ll still go through stages where I will throw out a bag of food, just because I forgot about it or I didn’t feel like eating what I made. And sometimes, my tastebuds want salt and sugar – and honestly, when that happens I lose all rationality and think with my belly rather than my head!

But I NEED to think rationally with what I’m consuming. I’m not looking for perfection, but I know I could do better.

In November and (now) December, I made a conscious effort to use what I have in my own fridge and pantry. I’ve (admittedly) been a little sloppy, okay, VERY SLOPPY and in the previous months leading up to the event and let a lot of my “good” habits slide.

I won’t ever be at that level were I’m making a sweet dust from dehydrated mango skins, but I do what to be creative in the kitchen and make tasty foods from scraps and leftovers. What is the harm in learning a new skill like that?

My first steps to reducing food waste

I’ve already implemented leftovers week, but I’m keen to see how much food waste I’m producing. What’s the first step?

Well folks, this means, I’m going to do an audit of my food trash! I’ve never done an audit of my trash, let alone my food scraps – so, it’s going to be interesting…maybe even enlightening? How much food waste will I produce in a week?

The truth is going to be dirty and probably something I’m not quite ready for – particularly as someone who is in the “low waste” community. While, I don’t see myself as someone who represents the community, but I do sometimes feel the pressure to be perfect. Or even close to perfect. Because if I’m not close to perfect, then why should you look to me for advice?

Firstly, don’t look to me for advice. My advice would be to not give advice! I’m merely showing you what I’m going through. Even if that means I peel back the curtain and show you the ugly truth of my own food waste.

We talk so much about plastic and packaging we forget about the actual produce we buy, because if worse comes to worst “it goes in the compost” and therefore, doesn’t seem so bad. I’m going deep into this one friends!

You’ll pretty much see everything on Instagram, but I’ll do a deep dive in my “Project Reboot” blog posts. My reboot is more than just physical – I also want to reset my low waste habits and once again assess and critique my behaviours to see how far I’ve come or how far I’ve fallen.

#rabobankpartner #rabofoodwaste #foodwaste #avoidfoodwaste #rabobankAU #dontbeawaster