Food Waste Means Water Waste

Water flowing

Did you know that more than a third of all the food that is produced on our planet doesn’t manage to reach any consumer’s table? Every year on our planet, while 805 million people suffer from malnutrition, 1.3 billion of food is wasted at a production, retail, and consumer level.

Now, you are probably thinking that throwing edible food away is immoral and a huge waste of money. That’s undeniable and we at Froodly we totally agree with that. Nonetheless, the ethical and financial aspects of this phenomenon represent only half of the food waste consequences: indeed, whenever we are dumping some food in a trash bin, we are also squandering all the resources (natural and non-natural) that went into producing it.

Today we want to focus on an extremely precious natural resource, water.

Water plays a major role in food production and, as a result, food waste translates into a huge amount of water wastage.

Have you ever heard about “water foodprint”? That is the direct and indirect water that goes into producing a certain food. So for instance, the water footprint of beef includes the water that’s used to grow the animal’s feed as well as the drinking water for the animal. In general, more water is used in the production of meat and dairy products than vegetables.

The massive amount of water that is needed to produce the food we eat will probably surprise you:

  • 2,500 liters of water are needed to produce a single burger
  • 650 liters of water are needed to produce one chicken breast
  • 135 liters of water are needed to produce one single egg
  • 12 liters of water are needed to grow one tomato

Wasting food means wasting a heck of a lot of water.

Luckily, each one of us can play an important role in reducing food and water wastage.

How?

By simply following these tips during your everyday life:

  1. Be a smart shopper: plan your meals and bring your leftovers home from restaurants
  2. Be patient: take care of your fridge, keep it clean
  3. Be careful: serve small amounts of food
  4. Be creative: use your leftovers

Start loving your food now, you will save a great amount of water making our planet happier!

Stay tuned for more interesting facts about food waste!

Alice Moretti

Will Insects Save the Planet?

Grasshopper

We at Froodly we are very concerned with protecting our environment and its natural resources. For this reason, today we are writing about an alternative and sustainable food source: insects!

Crunchy grasshoppers, smoked termites, and many other bugs, not only are considered a delicacy in some areas of the world, but they are also a great sustainable alternative to animal proteins whose production has a huge impact on the environment.

According to the UN, by 2050 there will be over 9 billion people on the planet and the food production will have to increase by 70%. If the demand for animal proteins won’t stop increasing, then we will have to figure out how to produce enough meat for everyone without compromising the environment. In fact, the global livestock is an impressive polluter which produces “more greenhouse gases than planes, trains, and automobiles combined”.

In South America, Asia, and Africa, a total of at least two billion people are already eating insects and, according to a report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), there are more than 1,900 edible insect species on earth. Sounds like you could have a pretty wide choice, doesn’t it?

Haven’t we convinced you yet about this alternative source of food? Are you feeling yucky? Well, surprisingly enough you might discover that eating bugs is not as terrible as you maybe think. Indeed, as a recent Danish documentary shows, contrary to the general belief insects can have a very pleasant taste!

Besides the taste, there are also many other reasons why we should start reconsider introducing bugs in our diets.

The benefits are many, and could be seen at environmental, health, and economical level. Let’s see them in detail:

Environmental benefits

  1. Insects are abundant: as we have just mentioned above, the edible species are almost 2.000;
  2. Insects are easy to farm on a large scale without damaging the environment: they require significantly less land and water than cattle breeding and they produce lower levels of green gases;
  3. Bugs can be raised on food waste and animal manure, thus not only they would increase the world’s supply of protein, but they would also reduce and recycle waste.

Health benefits

  1. Insects are cold-blooded and for this reason, they are very efficient at converting feed into protein: for example, according to FAO, crickets need 12 times less feed than cattle to produce the same amount of protein;
  2. Besides being rich in protein, insects contain good fats, calcium, iron and zinc.

Economical benefits

  1. Insects could be used to replace some of the expensive animal feed used to farm animals, thus lowering the cost of the livestock products;
  2. Farming and collecting insects could offer new opportunities of employment.

Caterpillars are popular in Africa, wasp larvae are considered a delicacy in Japan, and termites are widely eaten in South America. So, how does it come that insects are not popular in western countries? The answer to this question finds its roots in historical reasons: out if the 14 domesticated mammals breaded to provide meat for humans, 13 of them were found in Europe. Over the years, these animals yielded considerable amounts of meat, milk, leather, but also means of transportation and for this reason, the use of bugs failed to gain much traction in the west.

To overcome the yucky feeling that many people might have at the idea of eating a bug, some companies have launched interesting food products which disguise their insects content. One example is the American start-up Six Food, which produces chips made from beans, rice, oil and cricket flour. Yes, you have understood correctly, cricket flour, which according to many people who have tasted it adds a very nice nutty taste!

So, will really insects save the planet? What do you think?

Stay tuned, we will come up with more news about this topic!

Alice Moretti

Froodly is giving cooks free food for Ravintolapäivä!

Welcome fellow Ravintolapäivä attendees!

We at Froodly are putting together a campaign to try and help reduce supermarket food waste here in Helsinki, and are willing to supply food for cooks for free! Our goal for Ravintolapäivä (on 16.8.15) is to help create restaurants for the day that make great food, but also reduce food waste. We are getting food from supermarkets in Helsinki that would have otherwise been thrown away the day after and are hoping to cook with it, so it will be good food, and it will also be reducing food waste as a result. We’re looking for partners for the Ravintolapäivä to help us cook the food that we supply for the event, free of charge.

By creating a restaurant in this way, we can supply great food for people, measure how much food we save during the event, campaign to increase the awareness about food waste and help show that Ravintolapäivä helped save this supermarket food waste.

The project is volunteer-based, with us students collecting the food. The food we provide the partner will be free of charge, so if someone may be looking to set up a restaurant for the day but unsure of what to cook or where to get the food, we can help them by having that side of their restaurant covered for the event.

If you are interested please contact me at brennan@froodly.com or +358 41 7036913, and we can discuss where and when we should deliver the food! For more information, visit http://www.froodly.com or like us on Facebook.

Ravintolapäivä Food Waste Campaign
Froodly is looking for cooks to partner with for Ravintolapäivä on 16.8, and is giving them free food!

3 Key Resources that are being further depleted because of Food Waste

It’s no secret that food waste results in many negative consequences for the environment. These impacts are made exponentially worse because of the food waste created throughout the food chain, from the initial production, through to the retailers, and finishing with the consumers. Only recently in our human history has society become so wealthy that we have been able to develop a problem such as food waste. These consequence are ethical issues that the world is beginning to wake up to, but there still has yet to be a large enough of a reaction to reverse these terrible effects. Our modern agriculture creates several detrimental consequences on the environment around us, and by wasting up to 40% of the food we produce, we as a society are only increasing these terrible consequences. Let’s take a look at a few of the key resource that our modern agriculture is beginning to exhaust:

  1. Water Wastage

Modern agriculture currently uses 70% of the global freshwater used each year. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that food production will need to increase by 60% by 2050, and therefore the amount of freshwater needed to meet these needs will have to increase. When food is wasted, so is fresh water. As freshwater resources become scarcer, it will be imperative to minimize the food waste so that we’re not wasting water.

  1. Land Wastage

As our population’s need for food production increases, there’s an increased pressure put on the land. Not using up to 40% of the food that’s produced puts a terrible strain on the land, and is starting to erode fertile land. FAOs latest estimate (from 2007), shows that 1,4 billion hectares of land, which is almost the same total area as Russia, were used to produce food that wasn’t even eaten.

  1. Phosphorus Wastage

Phosphorus is one of the main components in fertilizer, which is a crucial material that’s needed in agriculture. Phosphorus is used to help in the development of roots, flowers, seeds and fruit. However, as more and more of it’s used to meet the demanding agricultural needs around the world, an increasing amount of Phosphorus is needed, but the production of it may reach its peak in 2030. The scary consequence that’s been noted by scientists is that we could run out of Phosphorus completely in 50-100 years.

As we can see, if we continue to increase agricultural production in the decades to come, we may begin to live the terrible effects of depleting some of our most valuable resources. The answer to this is to stop wasting so much food. If we were to tone down our food waste, producers would not have to put so much pressure on these resources and could begin to save some of the much-needed supply.

If you’re interested in learning more about the awful impacts that food waste is causing to our planet, come back on Friday as we explore the pollution that we’re seeing from food waste, and its impact on our climate.