A Family With Two Children Could Save CZK 14,000 in 2023 By Eliminating Food Waste

An experiment by the University of Economics in Prague and Mendel University in Brno calculated the cost to households of discarded food. Photo credit: MENDELU

Brno, Feb 13 (BD)- As the price of food increases rapidly, researchers are investigating how much food is thrown away by consumers, and how much is the financial value of the discarded food.

The University of Economics in Prague (VŠE), in cooperation with the Mendel University in Brno (MENDELU) and the Zachraň jídlo (“Save Food”) association, has now created a tool to estimate the cost of food waste in households, which suggests that a family of two adults and two children will lose CZK 14,076 per year. Converted to an average household, which according to the Czech Statistical Office consists of 2.33 people, this amounts to CZK 8,199.

The basis of the calculation was the data obtained by MENDELU as part of its measurements during the years 2019 to 2022, which is the most accurate data available on food waste in Czech households.

“The municipal waste from the housing estate, which we have measured for three years, gives us the most accurate data on the amount of food actually wasted,” said Lucie Veselá of MENDELU. “The average value of wastage in the housing estate was used, because in residential or rural developments, many foods end up in the compost. The average was 53 kilograms per person per year after deducting unavoidable waste, such as shells and bones.”

Veronika Mokrejšová, assistant professor at VŠE, in a team with Alena Filipová and Jiří Zeman, took many variables into account when calculating the price of wasted food, incorporating data from the Czech Statistical Office on the consumption of food per kilogram and on the consumption expenditure of Czech households on food.

“We also thought about their composition (more expensive foods are wasted less, perishables more),” said Mokrejšová. “Thanks to a qualified estimate based on MENDELU’s data, it was also possible to take into account food that we pour down the sink or toilet into the calculation. The calculation also works with inflation (using the prediction of the Czech National Bank for the year 2023) and also with a qualified estimate of the effect of the fact that already in the course of last year there was some decrease in food waste in households due to the economic crisis.”

This complex calculation reached an estimate for the amount of wasted food, forecasting that in 2023, food worth CZK 3,519 per inhabitant will end up in the trash, compost and waste pipes. On the basis of the average household according to the CZSO, i.e. 2.33 people, this works out at CZK 8,199 for the year 2023. A family with two children could save CZK 14,076 this year if they don’t waste food.

The Save Food Initiative will use this data when communicating with consumers. “For September, we are once again preparing the month-long September challenge against waste, which draws consumers’ attention to the negative aspects of throwing away food and offers them tips on how to reduce waste,” said Anna Strejcová, co-founder of the association. “In addition to the financial dimension, we also draw attention to the impact of waste on climate change. The UN estimates that food waste creates 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.”

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