As a major exporting nation, it’s hard to comprehend that a reported 20% of New Zealand children live in households where food runs out. Even more bonkers, at the same time New Zealand households produce an estimated 300,000 tonnes of food waste for kerbside collection every year, amounting to an average of $644 in uneaten food per household in 2018.
Food isn’t just wasted by consumers: food waste occurs in supermarkets, restaurants, cafes, and other parts of the retail and food service sectors, not to mention the largely unquantified food losses that occur during food production, processing, manufacturing, and transport. As well as being a huge economic draw, all this wasted food represents a missed opportunity for all New Zealanders — too many of them children — to achieve essential food security.
It’s encouraging to learn that the next major project of Juliet Gerrard‘s office New Zealand’s Chief Science Advisor is reported to be on food rescue, food loss and food waste. The department is calling for expressions of interest for those who want to be involved and are also interested in learning about existing New Zealand food waste initiatives.