According to the Department of Science and Technology, the Philippines had nine hundred thirty (930) million tons of food waste in 2019 alone.
The 2018-2019 Expanded National Nutrition Survey (ENNS) stated that average plate waste of Filipino households in a day based on one-day food weighing was 76 grams or approximately five (5) tablespoons of plate waste.
Plate waste refers to the edible portions of food which are left on the dining table or on the plates after the household has finished eating and are usually given to household pets or discarded.
In another study conducted by the Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) spearheaded by Dr. Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa, titled “Does plate waste matter: A two-stage duster survey to assess the household plate waste In the Philippines, “revealed that rice has the highest average household plate waste (49.6 g), followed by meat, fish, & poultry (7.5 g), and vegetable (6.7 g).
This is the first study to explore the association between household dietary consumption and plate waste.
The attributable factors of rice, vegetable and meat plate wastage are larger household meal portion size, a greater number of household members, and higher wealth status.
The study concluded that plate waste is indeed a public health problem that should be addressed.
According to the World Bank, greenhouse gas emissions arise from the process of growing food that is not consumed and from decomposing. Emissions related to food loss and waste account for an estimated 8% of total global emissions.
In addition, the World Bank stated that reducing food loss and waste can play a major part in helping countries improve the health of their people.
The present situation is alarming given the fact that the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) survey shows that 11.8% or an estimated three million Filipino families experienced being hungry and not having anything to eat in the last three (3) months of 2022.
The government and other concerned NGOs, in consultation with relevant agencies, must determine the policy needed to address food wastes in the country considering that many Filipinos are experiencing hunger.
Senator Nancy Binay filed a resolution urging the proper Senate committees to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the reported alarming amount of food waste in the country.