Tip — 26.03.2018

How food waste is affecting our wildlife and ecosystems

Landfills, garbage, environment. All words that come to mind with the issue of food wastage.

Food wastage is a problem that affects everyone, and it’s not strictly a human problem either. Over 1.6 billion tonnes of food is thrown away every year, as well as dumped into our oceans. These are actions that are having severe consequences on wildlife and ecosystems worldwide.

Grundig’s Respect Food campaign is dedicated to reducing food waste. We want to lessen the severe impact it has on the delicate balances of our planet. With such detrimental effects on so many elements of our lives, it’s important for us to consider how food waste is affecting the lives of animals too.

Read on to see 5 issues that ecosystems have to face because of food waste.

1. Climate change
The biggest threat to ecosystems, global warming is affecting natural systems at a rate that’s faster than we’ve imagined. Trees that produce the oxygen we breathe are being cut down in favour of land to grow or dispose of food. This is happening whilst landfills that hold decomposing food waste are to producing methane; a greenhouse gas that contributes towards global warming.

2. Wildlife extinction
Studies have shown that the majority of food wastage is made up of fruit and vegetables. Food wastage attracts wildlife, which can be harmed by these decaying foods. This affects their numbers, reproduction patterns and predator-prey relationships.

3. Oceans
It is estimated that over 7 billion tons of wasted fishery is dumped into the ocean every year. This attracts seagulls in particular, who then feed on this fish. The more seagulls there are, the greater risk there is to local fish and other species, taking the ecosystem out of its natural balance.

4. Litter
Not only does litter draw scavenging animals, but it can also draw larger wildlife who prey on them. Brown bears and wolves have become more of a common sight in Europe due to this, which could pose a danger to other wildlife, as well as us.

5. Food chains
Each ecosystem has its own unique food chain, made up of a chain of prey and predators. Increased wastage of food can lead to increased numbers of one, which can then put the second in the chain out of balance. The systems in the chain are sensitive, and even the smallest changes can have a ripple effect on an ecosystem, reducing its biodiversity. Save the environment and species by saving your food from ending up in the bin.

It’s important that we don’t let food waste ruin this beautiful planet of ours. From the majestic mammals on land to the small fishes in the sea; they all rely on a delicate balance. The difference starts from the home. From our home to the animals’, let’s Respect Food and make the difference!

Do you want more tips and stories on how to start wasting less in your own home? Head to the tips & stories.

Sources:
http://www.fao.org/save-food/resources/keyfindings/en/
http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/196402/icode/
http://e360.yale.edu/features/unnatural_balance_how_food_waste_impacts_worlds_wildlife

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