4
Oct

UNDERSTAND FOOD WASTE AND EXPIRING FOOD

By chef Eric Low

1. Food Waste vs. Food Wastage – What’s the difference?

Food waste is generated from the start of the food chain, from the time items are discarded at the farm, during collection and delivery, at the supermarket, and when they reach homes and eateries. This can be due to cosmetic imperfections on the food, damage in the packaging, or that they are close to the sell by/expiry date. Food wastage is what happens to leftover food that is not consumed or sold.

2. Exasperated by Expiry Dates

Expiry dates on food packaging refers to food that has possibly passed its optimum period of quality of freshness, but it does not necessarily mean it is spoilt or unfit for consumption. Different types of food deteriorate at the varying rate.
Expiry dates on foods do not mean it is no longer edible; it is just a recommended timeline to enjoy it at its optimum, or a guide to the best date by which it should be consumed. It does not necessarily mean it is any less nutritious.
For foods to spoil due to bacteria or self-degeneration, before or after expiry dates, the following conditions must be present:
• Oxygen
• Time
• Right temperature
• Right environment (PH, salinity or sweetness level)
• Moisture
If you take out any of the above, you may be able to preserve some foods for longer.