The campaigns against bread waste in Turkey that waste more than 500,000 tons of bread every year began to show their effects. According to “The Research on Food Loss and Reading Labels” carried out by the Food Safety Association, food products that turned into the waste largely in households are vegetables and fruits with 42 percent and milk and dairy products with 41 percent. Because of social sensitivity showed by customers on bread, 87 percent of customers utilize from stale bread instead of throwing them.
The Food Safety Association conducted “the Research on Food Loss and Reading Labels” to determine perception and behaviors that paved the way for food loss. 1545 people whose ages range between 18 and 65 years old in 26 provinces participated in the survey realized by the Nielsen Research Company. Samim Saner, the Chairman of Food Safety Association, evaluated the findings.
It is known that 30 percent of foods produced for human consumption turned into loss or waste in the process of production, distribution, and consumption all over the world. That causes USD 1.3 Trillion loss annually. Many types of research in the United States and Europe show that the labeling approach is among the main factors in food loss and revealed many different date labeling approaches that come to different meanings on foods in many countries.
The research showed that 72 percent of consumers throw away eatable foods as the distinction between Expire Date and Best If Used By. The research of Food Loss and Reading Labels uncovered that the difference between the Expire Date and the Best If Used By is not clear. 86 percent of customers have no idea what is the Expire Date. However, this rate drops to 26 percent when it comes to Best If Used By. 72 percent of customers throw away their foods when they realize that the Best If Used By date is expired although they found out that there is no problem with taste, smell, and appearance and it is not risky to consume these foods. Expired products should not be consumed.
Half of the households (49%) go shopping two times or more in a week. On average, household shops food 2.4 times. When asked “Do you prepare shopping list?” 59 percent confirmed. 37 percent of customers stick to the shopping list. 41 percent of customers go shopping with any lists.
DATE ON LABELS ARE NOT UNDERSTOOD
The survey revealed that 88 percent of customers check “Expire Date / Best If Used By,” but 62 percent of customers find this information as inapprehensible.
55 percent believe that the biggest obstacle is “numbers of the package is not legible or intertwinement.” 42 percent of the respondents found that the information was not easy to find on the package, 42 percent said that the numbers were obscure and 38 percent said that it is confusing that the package included more than one date. The most widely read labels on foods by consumers are dairy and dairy products with 83 percent, meat, and meat products with 64 percent, and frozen products with 55 percent.
FOOD WASTEL OCCURS MOST AT RESTAURANTS AND HOTELS
Consumers believe that restaurants and hotels lose food more than anybody else. Cafeterias and houses follow them. Customers estimate that every 4.5 plats of 10 plates are thrown away in restaurants while three plates among ten are lost at houses.
When asked “Do you want your leftovers to be packaged?” only twenty-one percent always want this. 50 percent of respondents said that they would change their ideas about the package if proposed by restaurants.
Four out of ten households believe that cooked foods can be warned only one time. Since the High-Middle Class (C1 SES) households believe that cooked foods cannot be warned more than once, it is highly likely that the leftovers are thrown away.
THERE IS SENSITIVITY AGAINST BREAD WASTE
The survey revealed which food products turned into waste. Food products that turned into the waste largely in households are vegetables and fruits with 42 percent and milk and dairy products with 41 percent. Customers utilize from food packaging that is glass and earthware in their houses and throws away plastic packages. However, only 33 percent of consumers use the recycle points for recyclable waste, and 39 percent said that there is no recycle points in their neighborhoods. In order to keep food longer period, in 3 out of 10 households, they prepare canned food at home.
The social sensitivity and awareness have been created against bread waste. 87 percent of customers utilize from stale bread instead of throwing them. When looked into customers that prefer utilizing from stale bread, 64 percent use these bread for meatballs or eggy bread. In addition, 32 percent of the customers put stale bread in a sealed bag so that someone in need may take from streets; 41 percent of them use stale bread to feed animals.
The research also focuses on solutions that can reduce food loss in markets. When asked customers which products can be placed in different shelves and sold at a reasonable price, 57 percent of the respondents told “disfigured but consumable fresh fruits and vegetables.” 40 percent replied “Products with the near expiry date.” As there are very few customers that know that expired “Best If Used By” products can be consumed safely, 27 percent of respondents said these products can be sold at different shelves.
WE NEVER GET SATISFIED
20 percent of the respondents open up the idea that all materials to be used in food can be sold at low weight and with a single portion in order to prevent food loss and to make life easier. 52 percent of customers believe that big portions at restaurants cause food loss; however, 62 percent of customers do not want smaller portions with the same price to be sold at restaurants to prevent food loss.
Ten suggestions for customers to prevent food waste:
1. Make a list before shopping.
2. Stick to this list and buy as much as you need.
3. If you think that you cannot consume, do not buy products with shorter shelve time.
4. While shopping, buy meat, poultry, and fish at the last.
5. Portion your meat according to your needs when freezing. Learn how to freeze leftovers.
6. Check temperature and icing of your fridge usually.
7. Arrange your fridge constantly and prioritize foods that waited for a long time.
8. Do not dispose of softened fruits and vegetables unless they are spoiled, utilize them.
9. Utilize cooked vegetables. Use them in soup, mash or salad.
10. Heat your foods with small portions and service.