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What is “Food Wastage”?

Credit: Aarti David
Credit: Aarti David

Food, one of the few factors that is required for any living thing to survive, is increasingly being taken for granted. With the growing affluence of people around the world, many splurge and indulge in lunchtime buffets or ten-course dinners at a pace more frequent than ever before. This practice often disregards the severity and implications of wasting food; in fact, many may not consider throwing food away as a problem since “we can afford it”. This site brings to attention the severe repercussions that arise from our casual practice of throwing food away, and how one small action taken by people like you and I can make all the difference.

According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), food waste refers to “the decrease of food in subsequent stages of the food supply chain intended for human consumption. Food is lost or wasted throughout the supply chain, from initial production down to final household consumption. The decrease may be accidental or intentional, but ultimately leads to less food available for all.” Perhaps a concept more familiar to us is the idea of food loss, which refers to “food that gets spilled or spoilt before it reaches its final product or retail stage.” To encompass both of these ideas, we will use the term food wastage throughout this site.

Singapore is well known for being a “food paradise”. However, amidst all its glory, many do not know the ugly truth that follows closely behind – its second identity as a “food wasteland”. Being such a small country, Singapore has seen remarkable progress in terms of development and economic stability. A rising level of affluence is but one factor that has resulted in an estimated 140kg of food waste generated per person annually, as people can now afford more than we can consume. As such, the focus of this site will largely center around the problems faced by Singapore, and some of the steps and measures to curb the problem of food wastage that can be adopted by everyone.

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