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Empowering Consumers - Combating Food Waste Together

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With the global population on the rise, the demand for food is escalating, prompting a surge in agricultural production. Despite this increase, the latest data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) paints a grim picture: an estimated 735 million people worldwide suffer from hunger or malnutrition. At the same time, vast amounts of edible food are lost or wasted along the entire food value chain.

The issue of food waste is multifaceted, stemming from individual, social, and societal factors. Addressing it requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders, including consumers, businesses, and policymakers. To empower consumers in the fight against food waste, the FAO has developed a practical guide offering simple yet effective tips and recommendations.

The guide encourages consumers to start by understanding the extent of the problem through activities like keeping a food waste diary. It then provides actionable steps, such as proper meal planning, understanding food date labeling, and utilizing leftovers creatively. Additionally, it highlights the importance of community engagement through initiatives like sharing surplus food with neighbors or donating to local food banks.

In parallel, consumer attitudes are shifting, with an increasing awareness of the impact of food waste. A recent study reveals that many consumers will switch to products with extended shelf life to minimize waste. This presents a notable opportunity for the food industry to innovate and meet evolving consumer preferences while addressing food waste.