Food Waste: What is the Issue?

There are two issues : one is the quantity wasted, the other is the incorrect disposal of it.

Food waste is a global issue, with more than one third of food produced going to waste which is equivalent to 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions (TooGoodToGo, 2021). Through our Planetary Health Meal Plan, this has been addressed with meal preparations, use of local suppliers, quantified portions, and use of leftovers. And there is so much more you can do to fight it:

  • Purchase a 'Magic Bag' from the Too Good Too Go App which sell a whole range of products for much cheaper that otherwise would be thrown away.

  • Reduce the temperature of your refrigerator, ideally around 4° C. This reduces food waste by 40 % according to a study led by the British Nutrition Foundation (T. E. Quested et al, 2011).

  • In addition to that, meal preparation allows you to plan your week and to not over buy. Moreover, cooked ingredients have a better conservation time than raw ones, thus reducing food waste.

However, it is an unrealistic to say there will be no food waste. Consider the peel from the onion, the garlic, bones or the ends of the carrots and more, therefore it is also important to address how to dispose of it.

Organic materials in landfill such as food waste, emit large quantities of methane (a gas that is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide) due to the anaerobic digestion by microbes (Moult et al, 2018). It takes up limited landfill space, contributes to water pollution and ecotoxity (Moult et al, 2018; Keng et al, 2020). This does not have to be the case, as if separated, the food waste can be managed accordingly through either composting aerobically or it can be utilised for the production of renewable energy via the collection of biogas from a anaerobic digester.

This brought forward the new campaign for Edinburgh Food Security & Sustainability Society (Edinburgh Partner of Nutrition Revolution) centred around food waste and recycling awareness run by Lucie, the Sustainability Officer for FSS, and Ros, the Socia Media & Liaison Officer for FSS. To start off, they can assist you in accessing your free compost bin for your flat, simply fill in the form here. The food waste collected by the Edinburgh Council is then used to generate biogas and thus is a source of recycled energy for the city. We encourage all in Dundee to access yours through the council website. FSS will shortly follow with posters on their social media onto how to sort your waste correctly and why.

So, if you are interested stay tuned and follow the Food Security and Sustainability Society! Any ideas, projects, recommendations linked to food waste and recycling are more than welcomed by FSS. Don’t hesitate to email or text them through their socials.

Edinburgh Food Security Society:





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