Based on a study conducted by the Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI), rice, vegetables, and meat were the top three most wasted foods among Filipino households.
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DOST-FNRI indicated that this was based on a study, “Does plate waste matter?: A two-stage cluster survey to assess the household plate waste in the Philippines.”
“The factors attributed to rice, vegetables, and meat plate wastage are larger household meal portion size, greater number of household members, and higher wealth status,” according to DOST-FNRI.
The Department also stated that the data used were from 20,151 Filipino households who participated in the 2018 Expanded National Nutrition Survey (ENNS).
According to DOST-FNRI, richest households found to have greater plate waste than the lower-income households.
“This may be explained that higher-income households consume diets that tend to include more perishable items. Some of the waste can be explained by food spoiling before the household had a chance to eat it,” DOST said.
The Department also explained that plate waste is closely linked to hunger incidence and threatened food security in the country wherein the Global Hunger Index of 2018 reported that the Philippines ranked 69th out of 119 countries with a serious level of hunger incidence.
“Millions of Filipinos under poverty and experiencing food insecurity are struggling to be fed, and the food that is simply thrown away or discarded might actually be enough to feed them,” lead researcher, Director IV and Scientist IV of DOST-FNRI Dr. Imelda Angeles‑Agdeppa said.
“The study suggests that a more effective strategy for reducing food waste may be to train people to prepare and select less food (portion and meal size reduction) and to formulate more policies tackling waste-reduction programs,” according to DOST-FNRI.