Have you ever...
- put leftovers in the fridge only to rediscover them a week later with fuzz growing on them?
- bought fresh fruit only to see its passed over until it's shrivelled and unappetizing?
- made dinner for everyone only to find plans have changed and only half gets eaten?
These are the everyday stories of food waste that are happening in homes everywhere.
In fact, 36% of the average Victorian household rubbish bin is made up of wasted food. And two thirds of that was food waste that could have been avoided, such as stale bread or old leftovers.
In total, 23% of our household rubbish is food waste that could have been eaten - but wasn't.
The results show that most people are probably throwing away more food than they realise.
Unfortunately that all adds up to some pretty shocking numbers...
in Victoria, households throw out 250,000 tonnes worth of food –
enough wasted food to fill Melbourne's Eureka Tower.
average Victorian household throws out approximately $2,200 worth of food each
Victorian households throw out:
Amount wasted in tonnes
Equivalent weight to...
|Bread, pastry & biscuits
||Six Eiffel Towers
|Pre-prepared & home cooked meals
|Dairy & eggs
||175 blue whales
||10,000 small trucks
|Raw meat &fish
|Rice, pasta &noodles
||Fill 1,100 garbage trucks
|Fresh salad leaves
|Cakes & desserts
|Canned & frozen vegetables
||Fill 36,000 bathtubs
|Condiments & sauces
||900 family cars
Why do we throw away so much food?
There are some common reasons why we waste food. Most food is thrown out because:
- We forget about food we have in the fridge or freezer
- We don't check the cupboard or fridge before going shopping
- We're not planning our meals and menus as much as we could
- We don’t get to use our food before the use-by or best before dates
- We buy or cook more than we need
- We don't know how to use leftovers
We're simply not using our food as wisely as we could be. And it costs households money and impacts the environment, including contributing to climate change.
But there are steps everyone can take to reduce their household's food waste.
Next: Find out what food waste is costing you.