Australians waste $9.6 billion worth of food annually
Aussie households waste over $1000 of food each year, with those in Victoria the worst offenders.
Australian households are throwing away $1050 worth of food each year, resulting in a staggering $9.6 billion worth of food waste across the nation annually. The findings are from RaboDirect's 2017 Food and Farming Report which forms part of the banks annual Financial Health Barometer released today.
The findings show Australian households waste on average 14% of their grocery buy. Unfortunately, these figures haven't changed since last year despite many of us having good intentions.
Although 9 in 10 households admitted to wasting food every week, over half of Australians (53%) consider themselves to be ethically conscious consumers. A further 77% of Australians say they care about changing their waste habits, but RaboDirect's report reveals we still have a long way to go.
Victorians waste the most food overall, with those down south in Tasmania wasting the least. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, those living in the city waste 16% of their food each week, compared to rural residents saying they waste only 10%. However, what was surprising was that Gen Ys were the most wasteful generation, despite appearing to be the more environmentally conscious than older generations.
RaboDirect shining a light on unnecessary food waste
The report highlighted a direct link between a lack of knowledge about farming and food production and those who waste more food. That is, the more we understand the process of how food gets from the farm to our plate, the more mindful we become of waste.
It also found there were a few reasons why we waste so much food; 43% of Australians say they buy too much food, 82% say the food goes off before they can finish it, 28% never eat food past its 'best before' date and 10% simply won't use leftovers.
"The results of the RaboDirect Food and Farming Report demonstrate that food waste is still an issue in Australia. Positively, it also shows that Australians can make a few small changes to everyday habits, such as using leftovers for lunches through the week and making sure you plan your meals before going shopping, which will help to reduce food waste and also save you a few dollars," said head of RaboDirect Bede Cronin.
The report highlighted that by eating leftovers instead of a family meal at a restaurant each week, Australian households could save up to $150 a week extra. If that money was deposited into a high interest savings account each week with a rate of 1.80% p.a, that money could grow to $7,872 by the end of the year.
To shine a light on unnecessary food waste, RaboDirect hosted a free pop-up restaurant in Sydney's Martin Place on Tuesday offering a selection of dishes made using seasonal produce from Australian farmers. Australian chef Martin Boetz created a number of delicious meals using foods that typically end up being "leftovers" and wasted by Australian households.