$1.1b fruit and veg binned each year

21 Jul, 2012 02:00 AM

NEW research has revealed that every year Australian households are disposing of $5 billion worth of food - and the number one category of food being discarded is fruit and vegetables, valued at $1.1 billion.

“Throwing out over a billion dollars’ worth of produce every year is an alarming revelation,” said AUSVEG senior communications officer Courtney Burger.

"We encourage Australians to actively incorporate more vegetables into their diets and take advantage of the affordability of the fresh produce in this country."

AUSVEG is the national peak industry body for Australia’s 9000 vegetable and potato growers.

The research has been published in the report Australia’s food and nutrition 2012, recently released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

On average each Australian household throws out $616 of fruit and vegetables every year, with higher income earners being the worst offenders averaging $803 per year, compared to lower income houses binning $518 annually.

“An excellent way to combat this wastage is to try new recipes that incorporate a lot of vegetables and try being innovative - such as not discarding slightly older vegetables but adding them together to make a healthy soup.

"Plan your meals around what’s already in your fridge,” said Miss Burger.

“Change not only needs to happen for consumers binning food at home, but there is also food wastage within the supply chain as a result of retailers not accepting produce because it does not meet cosmetic criteria,” she said.

An example of this avoidable waste is the banana industry with an estimated 10-30 per cent of produce being discarded before it is put on the market. The majority of this waste is caused by retailers’ rejection of the fruit that does not meet specifications.

“Australian vegetable growers try to combat excessive waste through food donation programs such as the Melbourne Markets donating 568 tonnes of produce annually to the Food Bank; a not-for-profit organisation which supplies food to over 600 community organisations throughout Victoria,” said Miss Burger.

“As consumers we also need to change our attitudes towards fresh fruit and vegetables, because if we accepted produce that was slightly imperfect ... we could combat this excessive waste.”

“This is a global issue with the majority of discarded food being highly perishable items such as takeaway food, meat, fish, dairy and bakery foods.

"There is a considerable opportunity to increase our consumption of fruit and vegetables - which will only assist in combating serious health threats in the community such as diabetes and obesity,” said Miss Burger.

Date: Newest first | Oldest first


21/07/2012 1:38:40 PM

Unfortunately the potatoes i bought 1 day ago are already turning green so there in the bin and they were from a fresh food retailer a lot of the bananas you buy taste green and look yellow so you guessed it there in the bin as well (and i did wait but they went black) all because the product is sold on face value,yeah it all looks good but it either has gone off quick ,taste like crap or has no taste at all
23/07/2012 7:45:54 AM

Over-fussy, inflexible, consumers are to blame for much of the waste. The banana industry's mulching one-quarter to a third of its crop, as it is not pretty enough on the outside to sell, is just the worst known case, but not unique. However, I too ended up with shop-bought bananas that never ripened - and used them as cooking bananas instead. Green potatoes just need to be peeled harder and they are mostly useable. Besides, how many people use broccoli stalks?
23/07/2012 10:00:16 AM

And all the crapp why we need GM food and we can't feed the world - what we need is to get rid of waster and Coles & Woolworths to have their power reduced & a reduction in the greed in society
24/07/2012 9:52:35 AM

fruit and veg producers better hope that consumers don't stop wasting food otherwise prices will nose dive.
29/07/2012 8:50:58 AM

Part of the solution is to keep the fruit and vegetables fresher for longer by managing the ethylene gas levels around fruit (gas given off as part of the ripening process). a product in the market called Buapple does this and keeps fruit and vegetable fresher for up to three times longer. For the White Paper on this topic visit http://www.bluapple.com.au


Screen name *
Email address *
Remember me?
Comment *


light grey arrow
I'm one of the people who want marijuana to be legalized, some city have been approved it but
light grey arrow
#blueysmegacarshowandcruise2019 10 years on Daniels Ute will be apart of another massive cause.
light grey arrow
Australia's live animal trade is nothing but a blood stained industry that suits those who