Around a third of the food entering households is thrown away, according to new research.
Pressure on the cost of living is making it difficult for a growing number of families to eat healthily.
Fruit and vegetables are the most likely to go to waste, according to the new study by researchers from Teagasc and NUI Galway.
The researchers conducted an analysis of the food waste behavior of 263 adults and divided them into three groups.
The first group, dubbed “All Waste,” which made up one in three respondents, included people who waste food in every way, by overcooking and throwing away leftovers. They also discarded food before it was even cooked or consumed.
They tended to buy and serve more food than was necessary.
The second group, dubbed “cling waste,” accounts for 29pc. These were more vigilant but ended up wasting fruit, vegetables and bread.
The third group, known as “overcooks,” made up 39 percent and was the least wasteful — overcooking food but rarely throwing it away.
They were better at planning meals and checking the fridge and making grocery lists.
They also tended to be influenced by a peer group dedicated to reducing food waste.
The researchers pointed out that the UN Environmental Food Waste Report estimates that between 8 and 10 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide come from food waste alone.
They said simple measures like meal planning and shopping lists, along with positive peer group behavior and knowing how to control and minimize food waste, could encourage consumers to form better habits.
According to Safefood, the all-Ireland organisation, food waste can be reduced by putting groceries away as soon as you get home.
Check the expiration date to see which should be used first, and if items like chicken breasts were bought in bulk, they should be stored in the freezer.
They also advise that households should measure out rice and spaghetti before cooking to avoid throwing away excess amounts.
When food is approaching its sell-by date and not ready to eat, cooking can add a few days to its lifespan.
However, it should be chilled and chilled as soon as possible.
Use vegetables in soups instead of throwing them away.
Bringing a list to stores and sticking to the list is also recommended. Unless you’re shopping for a large number of people, buy fruit and veg in bulk.
Online shopping for basics reduces the likelihood of being distracted by merchandise on shelves you don’t need.
Habits of the worst food waste offenders include:
- Fruits and vegetables are discarded before consumption (86 pieces)
- Bread is thrown away before it is eaten (81 pieces)
- “I cook more food than I or the rest of the family can eat at once” (78 parts)
- Dairy products are discarded before consumption (52 pieces)
- Food thrown away at every meal (50 pieces)
- Meat is discarded before it is even cooked (29pc).
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/one-third-of-all-food-coming-intoirish-households-ends-up-binned-41562275.html A third of all food entering Irish households ends up in the trash