Rising affluence behind rise in food wastage

Rising affluence behind rise in food wastage

We sure eat a lot.

But we waste a lot too. Try 796,000 tonnes of food waste, according to National Environment Agency statistics released in March. That is about 1,420 fully loaded Airbus A-380s.

A simpler analogy would be that of each person in Singapore wasting an equivalent of one packet of nasi padang every day for a year.

It is a sharp climb - more than 13 per cent from figures in 2012. Even more sobering, the jump between 2007 and last year was more than 40 per cent.

So why the spike? Singapore Environment Council chief executive Jose Raymond said in March that this was due to rising consumer affluence, a growing food industry that is "constantly bringing new delicacies to the table" and a lack of public awareness about food waste.

Food and Beverage Managers' Association president Cheong Hai Poh said an affluent society had resulted in people "not finishing up (their) food (because) the taste is not up to par or the inclination to load up (their) plates when in front of a buffet line," reported The Straits Times.

This article was published on May 5 in The New Paper.

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