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Christmas: Food waste is environmentally unfriendly, expert warns


A climate and environmental advocate and Team Lead for the Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation, Michael David, has emphasized the detrimental impact of food waste, particularly during Christmas, on global warming.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, David highlighted that the excessive amounts of greenhouse gases produced by decomposing food in landfills, such as methane and carbon dioxide, contribute to the absorption of infrared radiation, leading to global warming and climate change.

David underscored the environmental consequences of discarded food during festive seasons, emphasizing that many prepared foods often go uneaten.

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He urged Nigerians to consider the energy and natural resources expended in the entire food production process, including processing, transportation, storage, and cooking.

“For the uninitiated, excess amounts of greenhouse gases such as methane, carbon dioxide (CO2), and chlorofluorocarbons absorb infrared radiation and heat the earth’s atmosphere, causing global warming and climate change.

“In addition to money being wasted, discarded food has a negative impact on our environment as it contributes to global warming.

“Despite this situation, food waste at festivities is very alarming at Christmas, as many of the foods prepared will never be eaten,” he said.

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He further explained that food waste ending up in landfills generates significant methane emissions, a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.

Additionally, David pointed out the wasteful use of fresh water and groundwater resources associated with food waste.

He criticized excessive packaging, which is often non-biodegradable, contributing to environmental pollution in landfills and streets.

“Food waste that ends up in landfills produces a large amount of methane, a more powerful greenhouse gas than even CO2.

“Food waste also represents a great waste of fresh water and groundwater resources. With agriculture accounting for 70 per cent of the water used throughout the world, the food packaging of many food products is excessive.

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“There is a growing awareness that the packaging is environmentally unfriendly because it is non-biodegradable and invariably just gets thrown away and lands up on our landfills or our streets as litter,” he said.

Providing practical tips to reduce food waste, David encouraged people not to discard good food but rather share it with others, promoting a sense of communal responsibility.