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Manage your food waste

We need more sustainable food production and consumption patterns

The challenges of feeding South Africa’s growing population in a climate-altered, resource-constrained future are significant. Yet, according to the new Farming Facts and Futures report by WWF South Africa, we do not have to be victims of an inevitable crisis.

The report unpacks the status of the country’s natural resources – the soil and land, biodiversity, water and energy sources – and highlights how these resources are likely to be affected by a changing climate which is expected to redraw the agricultural map of the world in terms of what can be grown, where and when.

According to Inge Kotze, a Programme Manager at WWF, “We are often not aware that our daily food choices connect us very directly to the current state of the planet. Our food choices as consumers impact significantly on water, land and energy resources. Food demand and future consumption patterns will play a key role in determining the future health of our planet. We all have a direct and active role to play in creating a sustainable, equitable food system that can benefit both current and future generations.”

The Farming Facts and Futures report shows South Africa’s agriculture sector is at a significant crossroads, facing numerous challenges that all need to be resolved concurrently. Increasing resource limitations include depleted soils and over-extracted and polluted water reserves.

This is how you, as a consumer, can make a difference:

  • Manage your food waste: Buy smaller quantities of fresh produce or perishable goods by shopping more frequently and sourcing local, seasonal products.

  • Get creative with your leftovers: freeze them for soups or broths, use them in other dishes.

  • Compost your food waste.

  • Grow your own: Start a vegetable garden – even if it is just to understand how challenging and yet rewarding farming food can be.

  • Get involved: Support your local (organic) food markets, start community food gardens or establish a free-access pavement food garden.

  • Be water-wise: Install rainwater tanks and grey-water systems in your household.

  • Evaluate your current food choices Work towards reducing your intake of highly processed, high-sugar and empty-calorie foods. Consider the source of the protein you eat because high-protein diets have a dramatic impact on our planet. Reduce your intake of red meat or consider alternative sources of protein.

  • Know what’s in your food: Read food labels, do the research and increase your voice as a consumer.

  • Support products that demonstrate responsible food choices: Examples are WWF-SASSI sustainable seafood, rangeland grass-fed beef, free-range chickens, Fairtrade, organic or badger-friendly honey, sustainably produced wine, ‘Farming for the Future’ products.

The Farming Facts and Futures report can be downloaded here: http://wwf.org.za/farmingfacts