Monday, August 22, 2011

Kitchen Bokashi Series: Part 1 - Reducing Food Waste

Alarming news from the Food and Agriculture Organization
  • Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted, according to an FAO-commissioned study in early 2011.
  • Per capita waste by consumers is between 95-115 kg a year in Europe and North America, while consumers in sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia each throw away only 6-11 kg a year.
  • Generally speaking, consumers fail to plan their food purchases properly, the report found. That means they often throw food away when "best-before" dates expired.
  • Rich-country consumers should be taught that throwing food away needlessly is unacceptable.
  • Good use for food that would otherwise be thrown away should be found.
Cutting food waste to feed the world (The FAO Media Center)

This photo shows an example of food waste in our household not too long ago. Such wasted food included stale cereal and baked goods as well as spoiled leftovers. Since then, more awareness among family members and increased effort to keep certain types of food from spoiling, such as storing opened cereals in airtight containers, has significantly helped to lessen the volume of wasted food.

Waste from fruit and vegetables as well as coffee grounds have long been recycled by our earthworms into vermicompost. However, as we have yet to completely eliminate uneaten leftovers, a practical means of putting such a “resource” to good use evaded us until we discovered bokashi.

My next blog will introduce the concept of Kitchen Bokashi.

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