What exactly are food wastes?

Photo: BML / W. Holzer

Foodstuffs are binned all along the value-added chain - for most different reasons (crop damage or transport damage, production defects, not marketable). In all, large amounts of food are thrown away by consumers.

Food wastes are generated in each and every household. Some of them are unavoidable, but most of them could be avoided by careful planning and proper storage. We distinguish between:

  • Avoidable food wastes: Foodstuffs which are thrown away for most different reasons but are still fit for consumption and, sometimes even in unopened packaging. 
  • Partly avoidable food wastes: Table waste, canteen waste, food that is cooked and then binned uneaten, food that is partly eaten. 
  •  Unavoidable food wastes: Non-edible parts, bones, stalks, peeling.

An Austrian household generates an average 19 kg of avoidable and partly avoidable food waste. This is 19 kg too much. It’s in our own hands to avoid food waste. A few tips:

  • Check supplies before shopping.
  • Write a shopping list.
  • Buy only as much as you really need.
  • If possible, don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
  • Examine teasers critically.
  • Take care to maintain the cold chain and store foods corrects.
  • Prepare meals from leftovers.