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Awareness of food loss comes to fore on int’l day

By Maria Weldali - Sep 29,2022 - Last updated at Sep 29,2022

AMMAN — On International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste Reduction, restaurant owners shared their strategies to decrease food waste in Jordan.

Observed annually on September 29, International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste Management calls for prioritising practices that reduce food loss and waste, to build back better and resilient food systems, the UN wrote on its website.

Globally, around 14 per cent of food is lost in harvest and retail, while an estimated 17 per cent of all food is wasted, of which 11 per cent is wasted in households, 5 per cent is lost food services and 2 per cent is wasted in retail settings, according to the UN.

“Significant quantities of fruits and vegetables are tossed from our shop daily. Therefore, we started to track the quantity of food that goes to waste each month, and decreased our purchases,” Mahdi Mahmoud, owner of a cold beverage store in Amman, told The Jordan Times over the phone.

Reducing food waste has saved money and reduced costs, Mahmoud added. He noted that implementing a purchasing strategy is the first step to manage wasted food.

Omar Awwad, president of the Jordan Association for Restaurants and Sweet Shops Owners, said that “restaurants have a big role to play in reducing food waste, particularly because the local food service industry is among the biggest sectors in the country”.

Awwad pointed out that there are around 20,000 restaurants across the Kingdom. 

“Most restaurants, bakeries, sweet shops and even supermarkets donate food that is fit for consumption to the needy,” he said.

Awwad said that a significant number of restaurants communicate with food banks and donate excess food to families in need. “Food donations cultivate a culture of generosity, which already exists in the Jordanian society,” he added.

Bashar Manaseer, owner of a fast-food restaurant in Amman, told The Jordan Times that as of now, there is no website or even application that would help people working in restaurants and food establishments eliminate food loss, while at the same time, help people in need.

“We always avoid tossing food. However, huge amounts of perishable excess food end up in dumpsters each day,” he said.

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