This Friday is World Food Day, which recognises the important work of local food heroes such as farmers, growers and producers in ensuring communities around the globe have access to fresh, nutritious and sustainable food.
MidWaste Project Officer Wendy Grant said World Food Day is an initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and provides an opportunity to think about the food we eat, consider how it got from the paddock to our plate, and take important actions to reduce food waste.
"The average family wastes up to $4,000 every year throwing food away and 1 in every 5 shopping bags of food ends up in the bin," Ms Grant said.
Behind our food, there is always someone who produced, planted, harvested or fished it. When we waste food, we also waste the energy, water and natural resources used to grow, package, transport and sell it.
To tackle food waste across the Mid North Coast, MidWaste has teamed up with the NSW Government's Love Food Hate Waste program to roll out the free Food Smart program for households.
"By joining the free Food Smart program, which involves a step-by-step guide and handy resources to reduce waste, your family can make small changes that add up to big savings," Ms Grant said.
Take action this World Food Day by following these tips from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations:
Respect food and food heroes - Food loss and waste can occur throughout the food system, in our kitchens and at the table. Learning how to store uneaten food properly for another day's meal is one way to avoid wasting perfectly good food. Sign up to the free Food Smart program to learn how to cut food waste, save money and help the environment at www.midwaste.org.au/food-smart
Choose local - Whenever you can, support food heroes by buying locally grown fresh food, such as from a farmers' market in your community. You are helping local farmers that produced the food, your local economy and you are encouraging crop diversity.
Choose seasonal - Did you know buying food that's in season helps reduce your carbon footprint? When food is out of season in one part of the world it has to be imported and travel a long way before it arrives at your local market. Eating seasonal food can also be riper, tastier and more nutritious. Download free Seasonal Pocket Guides from MidWaste with a list of what's in season and recipe ideas.
Grow food at home - If you have a yard, access to a community garden, or a balcony with pot plants, you can learn how to grow your own fruits, vegetables and herbs. You'll learn a lot about how food is produced and grow your appreciation for all the work that goes into cultivating produce. Learn how to grow food from vegetable scraps on the MidWaste YouTube Channel.
The Food Smart project is supported by the NSW Environment Protection Authority as part of the Waste Less Recycle More initiative, funded from the waste levy.
MidWaste is a Regional Waste Forum made up of member Councils - MidCoast Council, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Kempsey Shire Council, Nambucca Valley Council, Bellingen Shire Council and Coffs Harbour City Council.