Studies have shown high levels of food waste are directly linked to climate change in the United Arab Emirates. The country has estimated to have produced 3.2 million tons of food waste every year costing the country 3.5 billion dollars.
Most of the food wasted in the process of farm to stomach is wasted and thrown into the ocean, and when food decomposes without oxygen it releases methane, a gas that is known to be 4x more effective than co2 for trapping heat. Because food is the largest expense for a catering or F&B operation, food waste is negatively impacting those businesses’ bottom line, explained Rachid Noujeim, CEO of Middle East, Sodexo International, a catering and facilities management company. Statistics have shown that almost 50 percent of food waste can be salvaged or avoided.
To raise awareness of the negative impact of food waste on the environment, UNEP Regional Offices this year launched the second phase of the ‘Recipe of Change’ campaign to involve the local hospitality sector. The first phase was aimed at affecting domestic households. From the West Asia region, he joined 10 chefs to teach people about sustainable cooking methods and how to store food.
The UAE is also planning to work more on the problem in COP28, which will be happening in Dubai in 2023. There was a time when people were hesitant to pack leftovers after a meal. It’s trending now. Ordering in small portions without waste should become a trend. That’s what we should aim for.
(Image credits to google)
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