A lot of times, we don’t necessarily realize how much food we are going to potentially waste when we stock up at the grocery store. I know for me, I find myself throwing food away because I buy so much and then it goes bad before I have the chance to eat it, which is why I have been trying to buy less food lately. However, a lot of times we don’t think about the potential food waste while we have all this food in our face ready to be eaten as we go down the grocery store aisles.
Food waste is a problem everywhere, not just near us. This topic has just recently been on my mind a lot more recently, as writing for Spoon has given me a huge insight into not only how much we potentially waste, but also all the cool tools we can use or create ourselves to help keep the planet healthy. I feel like a lot of us don’t try to be environmentally conscious all the time because we believe our actions won’t help, or we don’t realize how much we can do that is so easy. Which is why I wanted to share what this supermarket in the UK is doing and how much its impacting its customers. The supermarket, Asda, has become the first supermarket to reveal how its partnership with University of Leeds, proves food waste savings for customers and how its actions have led to a huge percentage of their customers making changes in their homes and shopping routine to cut down on food waste.
How Did They Do It?
The supermarket itself provides customers with advice on topics such as food storage, labelling and leftover meal recipes. The supermarket also holds numerous events, which help customers learn how to alter their household routine to eliminate food waste. Not only that, but as the customers were given advice on how to eliminate food waste and the changes they could make at home, they started saving money too, as they are buying less food.
The research that was then conducted by the University of Leeds found that 81% of the customers plan to follow the advice that was given to them by Asda, and 2 million customers who are already making changes in their homes due to the campaign. Also, through the research, Asda was able to realize that 93% of their customers care about “being green” and 72% admitted that they stopped buying a product all together because it kept going to waste.
Also, Asda tries to eliminate their own food waste in their whole supply chain and in their store as well. In store they have a couple of different ways they reduce waste. One thing they continually do is they have a specific date review team that is dedicated to checking the dates on food and how things are selling in the stores. This way they can calculate the right amount to stock for the right time and place.
Another interesting thing Asda does, is they reduce the price of any items that are still on their shelfs by the “use by” date labeled on the product. This way people will hopefully be more likely to buy it and use the food so that it doesn’t go to waste.
Asda’a mission is to be supplied by 100% renewable energy, have zero waste, and sell products that sustain people and the environment. Not only are they working towards this goal and making huge steps in the right direction, but their website gives tips, advice and all the information on sustainable living and what they and their customers do to eliminate food waste.
Sometimes it just takes one action, such as me writing for you guys to read, or visiting a food bank, to realize the impact we have and to reshape our perspectives on issues such as food waste. Asda isn’t the only place trying to cut down on food waste, and you can do it too. One thing I recommend that I started doing, is making a list of all the meals you will want to cook that week and buy only the ingredients needed, try not to stray from your food list and buy food that is a spur of the moment purchase. There is more and more we can be doing every day, let’s be a part of the eliminating food waste moment, and join those who want to see a change.