Food waste is the first thing came into my mind when thinking about organic waste, the involuntary answers show how unaware people has been and how common the issue had become. It is a general fact that Australians discard up to 1/5 of food they buy(lunchalot, 2017), the situation could be worse in my family. Thus, I recorded the daily food waste of mine and how do I discard the waste as a sample to examine.
My Organic Waste Audit
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I start my day with a pear, a pack of biscuits and a glass of water, sometimes there is a pair of wild cockatiels shows up on my balcony, the fruit cores will end up in their stomach, but the day I just throw it into the bin. For lunch, I have McDonald’s fast food. I am a fan of McD’s though I know it is terribly bad for my health and I produced waste from the paper packaging. For dinner, I live with my family and we buy fresh ingredients basically every day because my family does not like dining out and the grocery and butcher are just two minutes’ walk. I ended up having a sumptuous meal that day, which happens twice a week when my family friends pay visits. The organic waste from a meal like that is tremendous. It is composed of spices, bones, vegetable leftovers (The parts we do not eat because of the mouthfeel) and water. The residue of Chinese food is greasy and strong-smelling. As appendage, I normally use two plastic bags to dispose the waste of the general waste because I cannot take the risk of having any sauce and oil dropped on my carpet. Imagine it is just a tiny part of the overall 4,000,000 tons of national food waste (Foodwise, 2017), and yet I didn’t do anything about it. *It would be great to have a compost system but then it’s just not compatible with an apartment.
I discovered the problems is relevant to my cultural background and the urbanized lifestyle. My Chinese family background has a huge effect of how we treat our guests and how we cook. In particular, we use strong taste spices and sauce which are edible but not one is going to eat it because they are not considered as food and having an extremely strong taste. They eventually end up discarded in rubbish bin because many of them cannot be stored or reuse for the second time. There is also a large consumption of oil according to Chinese taste. The urbanized lifestyle is one of the curses to the organic waste. Dinner is the only meal in a day that people can spend time and vitality on, which I’ve already provided a sample as a result. The problem is not on wasting the eatable food, but spending too many ingredients for each meal.
What should I do
What is bad about living with family is you sort of lose control of what you eat, and the serving size for the family will be much unpredictable to the cook. Therefore, I must sit down with my family and have a serious discussion about dinner. I can begin with reducing the total amount of food, and stepwise adapt the healthier foods. And think of a good use of the vegetable parts we considered inedible, do not let any food sent to the landfill if there is any way to use it. It’s important to know what tradition is contrary to the modern concept and ameliorate it if possible.
Book Launch Canapé
I wonder where the dip goes after all vegetables are served because every time they replaced a new canapé with unserved dipping sauce.
lunchalot, 2017, Do something about food waste – Australian Food Wastage Stats from lunchalot.com 2017, lunchalot. viewed 4 April 2017, <http://www.lunchalot.com/foodwaste.php>.
Foodwise, 2017, Food Waste Fast Facts 2017, Foodwise. viewed 2 April 2017, <http://www.foodwise.com.au/foodwaste/food-waste-fast-facts/>.