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Asia Pacific: Singapore households throw S$200M worth of food yearly

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The Electrolux Home Food Waste survey reveals that 85% of Singapore households do not consume their food before the indicated date on food packing, contributing to mounting food waste in the city state.

This amounts to some S$170 (US$125.7) worth of food and beverage being thrown away by each household a year.

Annually, Singapore households trash about S$200 million worth of food and beverage.

According to the National Environment Agency, 791 million kg of food waste was generated in Singapore in 2016.

This marked a 41.5% increase over the past decade.

The study is the third edition of Electrolux Singapore’s annual #HappyPlateSG community initiative, which started in 2015.

Previous years focused on consumption of ‘ugly food’ and finishing of meals to prevent food wastage.

This initiative aims to educate, and change consumers’ mindsets that expiring and leftover food are not as tasty as fresh food.

Expiring and leftover food, from perishables such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, to packaged items such as canned meats and fruits, can still taste as good as the fresh ones when using creative cooking tips and recipes.

The Electrolux survey was commissioned in September 2017, and polled 1,000 households, representative of the Singapore population aged 18-65 years old.

The survey comprised a questionnaire of multiple-choice questions on consumers’ understanding of food labels, consumption of food passed the indicated dates on packaging, acceptance towards such food, value of discarded food, and awareness on food waste.

Other highlights from the survey which polled 1,000 households:

– 20% would never consume food if it is passed the indicated date,

– 72% could attribute the meanings of ‘Best Before’, ‘Sell By’ and ‘Expires On’, demonstrating knowledge that food passed its indicated date did not necessarily mean it is unfit for consumption,

– 84% of households were shocked, guilty, sad and angry when confronted with the food waste that Singapore generates,

– 10% felt indifferent about it,

– 48% would continue eating the item if the taste or texture remained similar to the original, and

– 58% said they would do so if the items were frozen, vacuum sealed and stored well, and showed no signs of turning bad.