The Recipe for Change campaign introduced in Qatar is an initiative to reduce food waste and improve food sustainability.
Qatar’s Ministry of Municipality (MoM) has joined a universal campaign on restraining food waste. The initiative entitled ‘Recipe for Change’ aims to educate society about the importance of decreasing food wastes for environmental protection, sustainability, and food security.
The Recipe for Change campaign was first introduced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in West Asia after studies showed that the estimated range of food waste in the region is 100kg to 150kg per capita. The ministry posted material on its official social media accounts explaining how the campaign focuses on finding radical solutions and taking serious steps towards a sustainable future.
Food waste is one of the main reasons for declining food security and negatively impacts sustainability and natural resources. Therefore, finding radical methods to reduce food waste has become a priority for the country. According to Alpen Capital report, Qatar’s food consumption grew at a compound annual growth rate of 8.1 % between 2014 and 2019 which makes it the highest food consumer per capita in the gulf region. Reports forecast that the country’s food waste and consumption will grow to 1.9mn tonnes in 2023.
A ministerial decision was issued in August last year to improve ways of reducing food waste, the decision made it compulsory for entities to divide their waste into organic and solid, this would help authorities track the reasons behind wasting food products.
Authorities continue to advise people on how to properly reduce food waste and encourage consumers to change their behavioral habits. Some of the simple changes advised are making a shopping list before going to the supermarket to stay away from unnecessary items as well as preparing a smaller food portions when cooking.
UNEP categorizes food waste as food that is applicable for human consumption but has been removed from the food supply chain due to consumer spoilage, personal desire, or expiration.
On that note, the MoM advises the public to “watch for expiration dates. Use your stored food before it expires, to reduce throwing in the garbage. Minimise throwing of leftovers. Save edible leftovers and eat them in your next meals. Donate what you don’t need if you don’t need food, donate it to those who need it.”
The ministry says it has adopted a plan to reduce food waste and surplus agricultural products and is forming a committee to implement the program. In addition, subjects related to sustainability and reducing food waste will be added to school curricula to initiate the development of food saving culture among students and future generations. The ministry is encouraging the public to raise awareness and share ideas by publishing on the hashtag #Recipe_For_Change.