The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) predicted that each year, approximately 1/3 of all food produced for human consumption in the world is lost or wasted. This food wastage represents a missed opportunity to improve global food security, but also to mitigate environmental impacts and resources use from food chains. The global volume of food wastage is estimated at 1.6 billion tonnes of “primary product equivalents.” Total food wastage for the edible part of this amounts to 1.3 billion tonnes.
For community outreach and awareness, Rizq is holding series of webinars and inviting experts from government and corporate sectors to advocate food wastage and its impact on our society, environment and economy. Pakistan is on the verge of 100,000,000 food insecure families and current situation such as COVID, unemployment is pulling the string from both the ends.
In our last webinar held on 10th July’ 20, with Mr. Tariq Sarwar Awan, the food fortification expert and other esteemed panelists, highlighted that developing countries suffer more food losses during agricultural production, while in middle- and high-income regions, food waste at the retail and consumer level, tends to be higher. A supply chain having a proper measuring and managing drivers to reduce food wastage can help reduce the food waste along the operations and ultimately at retailing level. Food wastage is not only leaving the people hungry but also contributing to landfills and H2O2 emissions. There were various possible solutions to food wastage that were highlighted by our esteemed panelists and discussed in regards to their practicality in Pakistan.
Sorting out the leftover food and feeding them to poor through proper protocol is what Rizq is all about. This was one solution posted by the panelists and proudly a practical practice by Rizq.
Composting the food waste is one option done in the US, Canada, Netherlands and all-around Europe. Pre-consumer food waste is the easiest to compost. It is simply the preparatory food refuse and diminished quality bulk, raw material food that is never seen by the consumer. This food waste is generally already separated from the rest of the waste stream generated; thus, no change is needed to keep contaminants out of the future compost. However, composting food waste is not done at mass level in Pakistan and if implemented holds great potential for recovering from landfills. A low percentage of all food wastage is composted: much of it ends up in landfills, and represents a large part of municipal solid waste. Methane emissions from landfills represents one of the largest sources of GHG emissions from the waste sector.
Anaerobic digestion is another option proposed by the panelist and widely used in Western countries. It is the process by which organic matter such as animal or food waste is broken down to produce biogas and bio-fertilizer. This process happens in the absence of oxygen in a sealed, oxygen-free tank called an anaerobic digester. However, this requires huge investment and resources from the ends of the public sector which is again lacking in Pakistan.
Fortification/nutrification is another option though not very popular and still under research. The food waste such as seeds of the fruits and peels of the vegetables can be dried, reduced in sample size and used as fortification in the flour/food. This will not only reduce the food waste but also scale up the nutrition. This process is cheap yet practical and achievable for Pakistan, as agreed by panelists.
We are looking forward to more community outreach programs to mitigate the impact of food wastage and scale up the nutrition of Pakistan.
Watch the full webinar below: