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Australians wasting $890 EACH in food a year

We waste $8.9 billion in food as a country. Images: Getty
We waste $8.9 billion in food as a country. Images: Getty

Australians are tossing $8.9 billion worth of food every year with younger and fussy eaters the worst offenders, a new report has revealed.

The average Australian household will throw out $890 worth of food every year, the latest Rabobank Food Waste Report has reported.

However, that figure – while concerning – is 7 per cent ($160) less than the amount thrown out in 2017.

“The tide is turning in Australia when it comes to food waste and attitudes are translating into actions, with a total $700 million reduction to our food waste bill in one year,” head of client experience at Rabobank Australia, Glenn Wealands said.

“The results are encouraging however it is key that Australian households focus on reducing waste even further, while also saving money for their families.”

Who’s the worst?

The report found that Baby Boomers were the best at saving food and were the most likely to be annoyed at food wastage.

At the other end of the spectrum, Australians under 36 were found to be the most wasteful – tossing more than $1,200 last year.

As Rabobank noted, this is especially interesting given younger Australians’ willingness to pay more for food produced in environmentally-sustainable ways.

Families with kids at home were also among the most likely to say they wasted food because family members wouldn’t eat food prepared for them.

Online shoppers and those who use food delivery services also had a greater likelihood of wasting food.

Australians on higher incomes are also more likely to waste food – despite spending more for it.

“As our population increases we will struggle to feed additional mouths. If we don’t curb our waste, we could run out by 2050. While the reduction in food waste is a global responsibility, we all – as individual consumers – can play a significant role in sustaining this planet for generations to come,” said Wealands.

“While is it pleasing that Australians consumers are wasting less food compared to 12 months ago, there is clearly much to do to raise awareness about food production and waste and more urgently implement better practices to reduce waste – while also improving the finances of all Australians.”

How can we save more food?

The main reason Australians waste food is it going off before it can be finished, followed by shoppers simply buying too much.

But the good news is that solutions are simple, according to Rabobank.

Shoppers who use a shopping list to buy groceries generally waste less, as do those who freeze meals, plan meals in advance and eat leftovers.

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