Voices of youth: Make grocery lists and take a chance on 'ugly' food to reduce food waste

Food wastage has been growing at an alarming rate in Singapore, increasing by about 20 per cent in the past decade. Around 744 million kg of food waste, equivalent to two bowls of rice per person a day, was produced in 2019 alone.

Ignorance of the impact of wasting food is a major part of this trend. If everyone makes the conscious effort to reduce food waste, we will be able to see a cleaner tomorrow.

The epidemic of food waste is fuelled by issues such as overbuying and cosmetic standards for food items.

What can we do to reduce food wastage? Making grocery lists before going grocery shopping could be helpful. We should check our refrigerators and cabinets when making the list to reduce the chances of overbuying.

Sometimes, we buy a food item because we assume we need it, only to reach home and find the same item sitting at the back of the cupboard.

Additionally, we should take a chance on "ugly" food. Just because an item does not look good does not mean it is any less juicy or sweet.

This is especially the case with vegetables that are cooked - since no one would be able to tell what the original appearance was.

Reducing food waste also helps to cut the amount spent on food.

I have embarked on a journey to help the world reduce its carbon footprint through reduced food wastage, and I invite others to follow suit.

Little drops make the mighty ocean. Together, we can conquer the issue of food wastage.

Janine Man Jing-yi, 16

Secondary 4 student

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