Simply do not waste food.

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Have a significant impact on the earth resources
– and save approx. 600€/year by not wasting food.

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Did you know, that about a third (> 30%) of all food produced globally for human consumption is wasted! According to several studies you probably waste 150kg of food every year!!
If we all would waste only 25% less, we can feed all hungry people in the world.
And think about the energy, fuel and water, that was needed to produce, distribute, store and cook food just for your waste bin.

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Certainly you cannot avoid all food waste (at least I found it pretty hard with two kids in the house). But we found some great ideas how to easily implement new routines in order to reduce your food waste significantly.
If you still think, that you do not waste so much food, check www.weggooitest.nl (weggooi = waste), where you can easily estimate your waste and the environmental impact of your waste.
Please start thinking about your food waste now and how to avoid it. And remember: small actions sum up to a big difference.  
Your UEN Sustainability Team

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Food Waste & Sustainability
  • Food waste is the top top emitter of carbon dioxide after USA and China (3.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide/year)
  • Food waste uses up around 250 cubic kilometers of water: three times of the volume of Lake Geneva
  • Produced but uneaten food also relies on almost 1.4 billion hectares of land, which means about 30 percent of the world’s agricultural land area is being exploited for the bin.

Source: Food Wastage Footprint reportMore info in this US video[/fancy-ul][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][fancy-ul icon_type=”font_icon” icon=”icon-trash” color=”Accent-Color” enable_animation=”true”]

Facts about your food waste: 
  • 50kg/year wasted food by every Dutch citizen **
  • 600€/year worth of food wasted by an average Dutch family *
  • 1.300.000.000 (= 1,3 billion) tons/year of the 4 billion tons of produced food worldwide goes to waste.**
  • over 40% of food waste occur at retail and consumer level (you!) in industrialized countries. Whereas in developing countries, over 40% of food losses happen after harvest and during processing (maybe to bring only the beautiful fruits and veggies on your table) **
Sources: *) www.milieucentraal.nl, **) UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), EU

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(by Milieucentraal, a Dutch NGO focusing on consumer info on sustainability)

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WEGGOOI Test: Easy to answer questions about your behavior (5min), giving you a good impression of your food waste.
This English version was translated by Unilever with Milieucentraal’s permission for the UL internal platform USLP in action only. Please don’t share this English version.

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REKENMODEL: For everyone, who has a good feeling regarding the amount of their own waste. With this tool you can also calculate your impact on the carbon footprint.

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1. Plan your shopping and stick to your list

  • Make shopping lists (on paper or your smartphone)
  • Menu plan your meals for a week and purchase only what they require.
  • Check the ingredients in your fridge and cupboards, then write a shopping list for just the extras you need and prevent duplicate purchases.
  • Stick to your list, avoid impulse food purchases, ignore what’s on sale unless it’s on your list. and don’t shop when you’re hungry — you’ll come back with more than you need.
  • Buy loose fruits and vegetables instead of pre-packed so you can buy exactly the amount you need.
  • Shop often to keep fewer perishables on hand

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2. Check the dates,

understand the difference between “use by” / “Te gebruiken tot” and “best before”/ “Ten minste houdbaar”
  • If you are not planning to eat a certain item with a short “use by” date, look for one with a longer “use by” date or just plan to buy it on the day you require.
  • Be aware on the meaning of date labels:
    • “use by”/ “Te gebruiken tot” means that the food is only safe for consumption until the indicated day (e.g. for meat and fish);
    • “best before” / “Ten minste houdbaar” indicates the date up until when the product retains its expected quality.
  • Keep in mind, that food products are still safe to consume even after the indicated “best before” day.

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3. Manage your fridge. Label your products with a date.

  • Check the seals and the temperature of your fridge. Food needs to be stored between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius for maximum freshness and longevity.
  • Refrigerate leftovers in clear containers labeled with their date.

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4. Use your freezer like the fridge

  • If you only eat a small amount of bread, then freeze it when you get home and take out a few slices a couple of hours before you need them.
  • Likewise, batch cooked foods so that you have meals ready for those evenings when you are too tired to cook.
  • Freeze whatever you can’t eat quickly.

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5. Rotate the food in your fridge/freezer: New products in the back.

  • Put the new food at the back to reduce the risk of finding something mouldy in your cupboards or fridges.
  • Store recent leftovers behind existing items so older foods get eaten first.

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6. Cook smartly

  • Make tonight’s leftovers tomorrow’s lunch.
  • Cook with serving sizes in mind.
  • Serve small amounts of food with the understanding that everybody can come back for more once they’ve cleared their plate.
  • Made too much? Share that extra batch of cookies, herbs from the garden, or homemade soup with friends, family or co-workers. They’ll thank you for it and your food (probably) won’t go to waste

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Te gebruiken tot / Use By 
indicates the date until when the food can be eaten safely. 
  • Don’t use any food after expiration of the “use by” date.
  • “Use by” dates appear on highly perishable food, such as fresh fish, fresh minced meat, etc.
  • Follow the storage instructions such as “keep in a refrigerator” or “keep at 2-4°C”; if not the food will spoil quicker and you may risk food poisoning.
  • By freezing the food at home soon after purchase, you can extend its life beyond the “use by” date, if it is frozen properly. But make sure you follow any instructions on the pack, such as “freeze up to the use by date”, “cook from frozen” or “defrost thoroughly before use and use within 24 hours”.
  • Once a food with a “use by” date on it has been opened follow any for storage and use instructions such as “eat within three days of opening”, bearing in mind that food should be consumed before the expiration of the “use by” date

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AnkerTen minste houdbaar / Best before
indicates the date until when the food retains its expected quality
  • Food is still safe to consume after the indicated “best before” day on the condition that storage instructions are respected and packaging is not damaged, but it might begin to lose its flavor and texture.
  • “Best before” dates appear on a wide range of refrigerated, frozen, dried (pasta, rice), tinned and other foods (vegetable oil, chocolate, etc).
  • Check if the packaging is intact, and if the food looks, smells and tastes good before throwing away food past its “best before” date.
  • Once a food with a “best before” date on it has been opened, follow any instructions such as “eat within three days of opening”, when applicable.

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