Food, too, is wasted on the young

A LAST-MINUTE decision to eat out regardless of what is at home in the fridge, a poor understanding of best-before dates and lazy shopping habits mean young people are among the biggest culprits of food waste in NSW.

Figures from the state government's Love Food Hate Waste campaign show that people aged 18-24 waste between $24.90 and $26 of food every week, contributing to the $2.5 billion of food thrown away in NSW each year.

Fresh food is the most likely to hit the bin, followed by leftovers and packaged or long-life food, the figures reveal.

The Australian arm of the international aid agency Oxfam is so concerned about the amount of food young people waste in NSW it is has launched an online program to encourage consumers to change their habits.

With funding from the NSW Environment Protection Authority's grants program, Oxfam Australia will urge young people to upload their solutions to food waste and have a role in tackling global hunger.

The Design for Change co-ordinator at Oxfam Australia, Sophie Weldon, said the campaign was about raising awareness. "Almost a third of food produced for human consumption is either lost or wasted," Ms Weldon said.

"There is enough food to feed the total global population of 7 billion people, yet almost 1 billion people go hungry every night.''

Ms Weldon said young consumers were less likely to have routines, which made it more difficult to avoid wasting food. They were also less inclined to stick to a shopping budget.

Ms Weldon said the best ideas shared through the campaign would be selected for publication in an e-book and distributed to organisations working on reducing food waste in Australia.

The story Food, too, is wasted on the young first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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