Earth Day: Experts ask Nigerians to reduce food waste

As part of efforts geared at reducing the impact of human activities on climate change, Nigerians have been tasked to reduce the high rate of food wastage in the country.

The advice was given by experts in commemoration of the 2023 edition of the World Earth Day celebrated every April 22.

They warned that food wastage is one of the human actions that contributes to climate change and environmental issues through the release of methane gas as a byproduct from decomposed food wastes.

Speaking with Nigerian Tribune on the global celebration, a climate activist and Executive Director of Youth in Agroecology and Restoration Network (YARN), Opeyemi Elujulo, disclosed that curbing food wastage starts from cooking just enough for the mouths one is trying to feed.

He said: “So first thing is cooking enough. Secondly, buffet is good, but then, people mostly tend to take more than they can eat, and end up leaving wastes. The second thing is that people should learn to take what they can finish from the tray/pot as the case may be.

“For perishable goods, people should not buy in bulk, but should try and shop more often instead. People also need to refrigerate and store food appropriately, rather than keeping it in the open where it can easily spoil.”

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Elujulo also advised that leftovers and compostable leftovers should be repurposed and composted to produce compost fertiliser that can then be used in backyard gardens.

Speaking in the same vein, another activist and representative of Agbeloba Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative Society in Ibadan, David Ojebola, held that methane, the byproduct of decomposed food wastes, is 25 times more powerful than CO2.

“It lingers for 12 years and traps heat from the sun. Research establishes that 20% of greenhouse gases (GHG) is generated from food wastage,” he said.

Ojebola urged government and Nigerians to embrace and establish more food processing factories, storage facilities while measuring and tracking all food in the farm, in transit and marketplace.

While harping on consumer and producer waste education, he added that food donations programme can also be embraced by manufacturing organisations to boost their social community responsibilities.

“Food waste recycle can also be adopted to curb food waste. Food waste through anaerobic digestion can generate biogas which is key in renewable energy to ensure energy security,” he added.

(Source: Tribune)

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