How Best Before & Expiry Dates Can Reduce Food Wastage
Food wastage is Singapore's top 5 biggest waste stream. In 2021, Singapore generated around 817 million kilograms of food waste, which is equivalent to 5.86 million packets of chicken rice being disposed off daily. Yes, that's a lot of our national favourite dish going down the chute.
Before we get to reducing food wastage, let's get to know what are the avoidable and unavoidable food waste.
What Is Avoidable Food Waste
The food that we consume(or in this case didn't consume) can be categorised into 2 segments, avoidable and unavoidable. Unavoidable food waste are food portions that are not for consumption, e.g bones, egg shells or banana peels.
Avoidable food waste, on the other hand, refers to food items that were meant to be consumed but weren't. Instances like dinner leftovers, discarded fresh produce due to bumps and blemishes, stale food, over ordering of food or snacks like yummy asian snacks and expired food.
Best Before Date VS Expiry Date
Best before date is usually mistaken with expiry date by consumers. Due to the confusion, this is one of the many reasons foods that surpasses the best before date go straight down the chute.
Expiry dates inform consumers the last day a product is safe for consumption whereas best before date, tells you the date when food starts to lose its freshness, shape and taste. In a nutshell, Best before dates are quality indicators, when expiry dates are indicators for disposal.
Ways To Minimise Food Wastage
Now we know, there is an alarming increase in food wastage. The question is, what can we do as an individual or organisation to reduce food wastage?
1. Buy only what you need
We know the nation's favourite pastime is feasting. While that is 100% true, let's not over order. When dining out, only order what you can finish.
2. Make new dishes with leftovers
Don't throw away your leftovers yet! Turn them into cool new recipes. Have some leftovers of your favourite snack? We've found this hack on TikTok, your salted egg chips will never be the same any more.
3. Donate to charity
Overbought? Donate your excess packed food to charities or organisations that will distribute them to the less fortunate.