A crate of eggs, one of my go-to compliments for any food recipe is now sold for 45 cedis, a 40% increase from how much it sold three months ago.

I don’t prefer reusing my vegetable oils, but my options are limited at this point. Our nation is currently experiencing a full-blown economic recession.

World Bank in its latest update stated almost all low-income and middle-income countries between May to September 2022 reported high inflation. The world has eight years remaining to attain targets 1, 2, and 3 of Sustainable Development Goal 12 (SDG).

FAO describes it better when it says “the world is moving backward” in its efforts to combat food insecurity in all its forms considering the recent food crisis. Were our many policies and strategies (naming them will require additional sheets) toward sustainable food supply by IFAD, ICIPE, WFP, WHO, etcetera, and our national policies relevant enough? The current test of food crises makes me want to answer “NO”.

Accelerated action is urgently needed towards food loss and food waste. These two are essential to fighting hunger, increasing income, and improving food security. Even though food loss and food waste are sometimes used interchangeably, these two focus on distinct aspects of the issue.

While food waste is the deliberate tossing of food that is still fit for human consumption, food loss refers to the unintentional reduction in the amount as well as the quality of produce before consumption. Estimates show that Ghana loses 66% of its annual production of fruits and vegetables, 40% of its root crops, and 21% of its cereals.

If this isn’t alarming enough, I do not know what else is!

The less food available in our homes, the fewer smallholder farmers, and local producers, who make up the backbone of the sector, earn. It is also detrimental to the environment and the depletion of natural resources.

Food loss and food waste destabilize the viability of our food system because, when these losses are considered, all other resources including water, land, energy, labour, and capital amount to nothing. Concentrating on implementing integrated strategies intended to decrease food loss and waste is necessary. Global and local action is needed to make the most of the food we produce.

The question remains, how can we prevent food loss and food waste?

Implementing this radical transition will depend on introducing technologies, and creative solutions such as flexible mobile food processing systems, e-commerce platforms for marketing, new working habits and methods, and adapting best practices to monitor food quality and minimize food loss and waste.

The whole food production chain needs some reform. From agricultural production, postharvest handling and storage, industrial and domestic processing, distribution through our market systems, and consumption, let’s begin the conversation and put in the work.

The chance to mobilize the public, local governments or national and private sector, industries, and individuals to prioritize strategies and advance with an invention to lessen food loss and food waste toward establishing and building back healthier and resilient-ready food production and processing systems is the way to go.

In my capacity as a researcher with an interest in sustainable food production and processing technologies, I would like to emphasize the importance of focusing future research on an evidence- based analysis of the impact of food loss and waste on food security, influenced by high-quality and readily accessible data to influence policies, investments, and technical interventions.

To the consumer: only purchase what you will eat, choose ugly fruits and veggies if they are still healthy, store carefully, make the most of your leftovers, be creative with your recipes, support local food producers, and always remember sharing is caring.

This article was written by, Ing. Nana Yaa Serwaah Sarpong, PE-GHIE -Researcher, Sustainable Food Production and Processing Technologies Lecturer, Cape Coast Technical University

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.