Tackling food waste problem begins with household discussion

It is disheartening to note that half of household waste is food waste (Half of waste from homes is food: NEA study; Dec 4).

To curb food waste, we are encouraged to buy less, cook less and store leftovers for future consumption.

We certainly cannot leave it only to businesses, supermarkets, or the Government to take action on our behalf.

While it is easy to agree on the need for us to do our part, translating that intention into action requires effort; namely, to reflect and discuss the matter as a household, before coming to a consensus on a specific course of action.

Before taking action, each household has to first take ownership by examining itself - whether it is contributing to food wastage, by how much and if there are any trends in their homes regarding food consumption.

For instance, a household may realise that more food goes to waste on certain days of the week when members tend to eat out, or that certain types of food, like rice, are always cooked in excess.

Only after such introspection can areas of improvement be identified.

The household would then be better informed - and likely more motivated as well - to decide on an approach to minimise its food waste.

The importance of household discussion as a precursor to action cannot be over-emphasised.

Mark Chong Yan Sheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2017, with the headline 'Tackling food waste problem begins with household discussion'. Print Edition | Subscribe