Ways to cut food waste

According to the United Nations World Food Programme, there are 870 million people in the world who do not eat enough to be healthy.

Yet in Singapore, 703,200 tonnes of food were wasted last year ("Amount of food waste here hits record high"; Monday).

While it is difficult to control food wastage, we can minimise it.

Children are usually small eaters and parents could consider sharing their meals with them to avoid wastage. Hawker centres and foodcourts could reduce their portion sizes and pass the savings on to diners.

My Indonesian friend who often visits the two casinos here told me that high rollers in the VIP rooms often take one bite of the meals provided, then get the waiters to clear the plates and order new food.

The wastage can be reduced if the casinos serve small portions of finger food instead of large meals.

Similarly, companies holding their annual general meetings can offer simple high tea sets instead of lavish buffet spreads.

While hotels and restaurants may impose a surcharge on unconsumed food at buffets, enforcement is difficult because of the fear of losing customers. They could instead issue subtle and gentle reminders to diners not to waste food and to take only what they can consume.

More biofuel plants should be set up in Singapore to convert food waste into fuel, and the Government could offer more incentives to companies to invest in biofuel.

Francis Cheng