According to the results of a recent survey by RaboDirect we Australians are each wasting $1050 worth of food each year (14 percent of their weekly grocery buy) or $9.6 billion in total.
There were 2300 people in the survey and they were aged between 16 and 65.
One of the contributors to this waste, according to the survey results, is throwing out food which has gone past it’s best before date.
Best Before is used on foods that have quality issues, not food safety, so they are still safe to eat after that date. So there is really is no reason why this food needs to be thrown out, especially if people are buying and manging their food sensibly.
Apparently there is also an increasing trend toward not eating leftovers and this is also contributing to the waste.
Leftovers are fine to eat as long as they were cooled down quickly after cooking, have been stored properly and at less than 5°C for no more than up to five days before being heated to at least 75°C before being eaten.
According to the research, the main reason people are throwing food out is because it is going off and is not usable. There is only explanation for this – buying too much food and not managing it properly when they get it home
Foodbank Australia recently revealed that 3.6 million Australians have experienced food insecurity in the past 12 months. This waste becomes even more ridiculous when that is considered.
So which state is the biggest food waster?
The research shows that 19 percent of Victorians are wasting food compared to only four percent of Tasmanians.
It is probably not surprising that more of those living in Metropolitan areas(16 percent) are wasting food compared to those living in the regions (10 percent). The survey also identified that as a general rule the older a person is the less wasteful they will be, with only seven percent of Baby Boomers compared to the 20 percent for thos Gen Yers.