7 good habits to reduce food waste – Italian Cuisine

7 good habits to reduce food waste


One in three Italians would use apps to buy unsold, imperfect or close to expiry food products, saving them from garbage and above all saving money. Here's what the results of a research tell us

It is a study conducted by Ipsos in collaboration with Waste Watcher International Observatory to reveal that about 4 out of 10 Italians (39%) are attentive to limit food waste and this good habit would be strengthened in the period following the lockdown: the under 35, on the other hand, would be the most committed citizens to preventing waste.

"The lockdown has imposed on Italians an accelerated course in food education and home economics, but they show that they have also well understood the implications of food waste for the health of the environment and their own", he observes Andrea Segrè, scientific director of the Waste Watcher International Observatory and founder of the campaign Zero waste, which concludes: "This is the positive legacy of the pandemic, which, however, among its tragic consequences also includes the dramatic accentuation of the food divide: the food gap that is added to economic, educational, digital and gender inequalities. Returning value to food and guaranteeing the right for all citizens remains the main road to bridge this imbalance, in Italy and in the world .

Further confirming these data is also a recent research published by the Reale Mutua Observatory and dedicated to agriculture and the new buying habits of our compatriots which states that 48% of respondents invest time to draw up a shopping list aimed at buy only the necessary foods and one in three would exploit applications that offer the possibility to buy unsold, imperfect or close to expiry agri-food products (at lower prices), saving money and saving them from the garbage!

On the subject, is the team of Phenix, a startup that facilitates the donation of expiring foods by supermarkets and industry, to provide us with useful information to prevent our incorrect daily habits from generating a huge amount of food waste: "Every year, Italians are increasingly attentive to the issue of food waste: from the latest Waste Watcher report, in fact, it emerged that over 57% of the population is more sensitive to the issue, thanks to the spread of waste surveys. In 2020, food waste was reduced by 25% compared to the previous year, going from 6.6 to 5 euros per week per person. A significant decrease which, however, still generates € 6.5 billion of waste every year. These few (but important) numbers, however, lead us to affirm that, although the path towards the goal #ZeroWaste is still far away, we're on the right path", explains Julien Fanara, country manager of Phenix Italia.

With the'Phenix app it is possible to buy, then save from waste, a box with the unsold products of the day from the shops closest to our home. Thus, in addition to helping small neighborhood businesses and saving money, it contributes to reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere: it would be enough to think that each box saved is equivalent to 2.5 kg of CO2 less.

7 useful tips to avoid wasting food

1. Be "locavori"

This term derives from the union of local And omnivorous and embraces the philosophy of good food, but at zero km. To be locavori, today, it is of fundamental importance to reduce the environmental impact and avoid waste: it is a good habit give priority to seasonal foods, perhaps produced by small farms in the area in order to reduce massive carbon dioxide emissions.

2. Don't judge by appearance

It is wrong to discard an uncared-for-looking apple because its shape is not the "conventional" one, much less a banana if it has some dark spots: it is only more ripe and sweeter. Nowadays we are used to throwing away food just because we judge it (wrongly) by its appearance, but a bite can make a difference.

3. Plan

It may seem trivial, but planning meals and always making a careful shopping list is the key to consuming responsibly and carefully. With a little imagination and organization, filling the fridge with the right foods for the week will be child's play.

4. Buy "on tap"

Prioritize products in bulk and only buy what you really need. Buying food in bulk allows us not only to avoid food waste, as we only buy the necessary quantities, but also those of the packaging.

5. The expiration dates

Although many foods can be consumed even after the expiration date indicated on the package, it is good it is normal to consume food on time and keeping an eye on the dates is essential to reduce waste. However, it is a good idea to buy foods that are close to expiry especially if we are doing a shopping that will be consumed in a short time.

6. Organize the refrigerator

Proper storage of food is essential to prevent it from deteriorating rapidly and therefore from going into the trash. It is important that food is placed in the most suitable spaces inside the refrigerator. For example: in the upper part we can keep sweets and cheeses; on the middle shelf, cooked foods, cold cuts and sauces; in the lower one, meat, fish and raw foods.

7. Talk to the shopkeepers

Chatting with the butcher can help prevent good food from ending up in the trash. For example, we can ask the shopkeeper which foods are close to expiry to take them home, perhaps saving money, and eat them before they go bad!

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels.

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