ZB

Footprint: Business Sustainability - Episode 6: Food

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 8 Dec 2021, 12:48pm

Footprint: Business Sustainability - Episode 6: Food

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 8 Dec 2021, 12:48pm

Cut your food budget by a third. 

Lockdown grocery bills have once again got Kiwis asking why we’re spending so much at the supermarket.  Whether prices are actually rising, or it’s just shoppers’ perception the issue is currently under investigation by the Commerce Commission.

But the good news for shoppers, is there is a way most of us could significantly cut our grocery bills overnight.  All we need to do, is avoid food waste.  It's estimated that globally, we throw away around a third of food made for human consumption. This is also responsible for up to 10% of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Hugh Campbell is a professor of sociology at Otago University specialising in food, agriculture and sustainability.  He says food production damages the environment in many ways, from nitrogen run-off, to water usage.  He says the easiest way to reduce this impact is by looking at the way we dispose of food.  "Food waste is both a major challenge for us, but one of our huge opportunities for improving the sustainability profile of farming and food". 

Thankfully, some innovative Kiwis like Michal Garvey are coming up with modern ways to fix this long-standing problem.  Michal has developed an app called Foodprint, where you can buy imperfect and excess food from eateries for a discount, to prevent it from being thrown away.  "Anything from a whole cake, to a salad sandwich, to sushi.  We throw away about a third of food that is produced for human consumption.  It's just a waste of resources, and a problem we shouldn't have”.  She says the problem is so big that if food waste was a country it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter, only behind China and the United States.  Michal’s app started in Auckland, and now operates in Dunedin and Wellington, with new food businesses joining all the time. 

For more ways on how we can prevent food waste, listen to the latest episode of “Footprint”, the sustainability podcast from Newstalk ZB and Goodman Property.