Why do Singaporeans waste their food?
When we published our guide on food wastage statistics in Singapore, we mentioned how nearly 393,000 tonnes of food get spoilt by improper handling alone.
As efficient as the disposal services in Singapore are, this is still an alarming trend.
Why do a lot of Singaporeans waste their food, anyway? Let’s find some answers in today’s post.
“Ugly” produce is usually discarded
Wholesale markets and supermarkets feel the need to put forward their best-looking produce. This process is called “cosmetic filtering,” which results in tonnes of flawed fruit, vegetables, eggs, seafood, and other produce being discarded for their looks.
This means that if a carrot isn’t the precise kind of “healthy” orange to attract buyers, into the garbage bin it goes.
Studies have shown that around a third of ugly produce doesn’t make it to the market shelves and goes straight to the landfill, instead.
So the next time you go food shopping, consider going straight to farmer’s markets instead of big-name grocery stores. You can be sure that the fruit and veggies are perfectly edible even if they have a few bruises and spots here and there.
Unsold food on display is thrown away at the day’s end
It’s not just fresh yet ugly produce that gets unfairly dumped. Even attractive yet unsold displays of cupcakes and tiny sandwiches for high tea in Singapore also get thrown away at the day’s end.
Restaurants, bakeries, food stalls, and other food and beverage businesses do this because of particular shelf lives for certain food or ingredients.
And while spoilage shouldn’t happen if the prepared quantities are enough for a single day, most establishments usually over-prepare with large quantities for display. At the end of the day, the amount of unsold and displayed goods can be quite staggering.
Having a busy schedule might wreak havoc on certain food preparation plans. That’s why a lot of Singaporeans rely on food delivery services for their daily meals.
If you buy produce and food items regularly but don’t put in the time for food prep, you’re contributing to food wastage in Singapore. Being mindful of your weekly menu can help prevent this.
Certain fruit and veggies only last a couple of days, so they won’t keep well as part of weekly lunch box schedules. You can always use your Nutribullet to make smoothies and shakes out of fruit, vegetables, and other ingredients before they have time to spoil.
Buffets and banquets yield lots of leftovers
With Chinese New Year festivals and other celebrations, Singapore always has an abundance of food to offer via banquets, parties, and buffets.
Being a nation of foodies, this often translates into lots of leftovers from multiple-course dinners. But this can be easily remedied with some practicality.
You can ask the host of the next buffet or banquet you’re attending if you can bring airtight containers to keep your leftovers to bring home. Trust us, there’s nothing shameful about this.
And if you’re the one hosting a food fest, make sure you know the ways to keep food fresh longer. Yes, this includes banquet leftovers, as well!