Australians junk useful food

scraps of rotten fruit and vegetables
scraps of rotten fruit and vegetables

Reports indicated Australians throw away $8 billion worth of edible food every year ” enough to fill 450,000 garbage trucks ” said Murdoch University Biosecurity and Food Security chairman Shashi Sharma.

Prof Sharma urged interested locals to attend a Reduce Food Waste Forum at Murdoch University, sponsored by Murdoch and Curtin universities and The University of WA, on November 14.

He said the event was important as food waste had emerged as a major global issue.

‘Roughly about one-third of food produced worldwide is lost or wasted, enough to feed about two billion people,’ Prof Sharma said.

‘The bulk of this food waste ends up in landfill where it rots and produces gases that are harmful to the environment.

‘Food waste poses increasing disposal and severe pollution problems, and represents a loss of valuable biomass and nutrients.’

The forum’s theme is Waste in Food Value Chains: Opportunities for Technological, Policy and R&D Innovations for Minimising and Utilising Food Waste, and six experts have been invited to present international, national and WA perspectives on waste in food value chains.

Greg Hebble (Foodbank WA), Marcus Geisler (WA Waste Authority), Geoff Richards (Richgro Garden Products), Professor Hugh Campbell (University of Otago NZ), Dr Andre Teixeira (Goodman Fielder Limited) and Dr Steve Lapidge (SA R&D Institute of Agribusiness) will participate in panel discussions and help identify ways to minimise waste.