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Ethical Food Waste Management

Ethical Food Waste Management for Business Owners

Food waste is a major consideration for business owners in the restaurant industry. But seeing this as the problem of a specific industry is narrow minded. 

Every business plays its own part in producing food waste. It goes without saying that they must do what they can to find more ethical and environmentally friendly solutions.

The ethics behind food waste cannot be ignored. In a world where many go hungry or without a steady, reliable source of food, wastage by businesses can give the impression that a business or company does not care.

This is especially true for those in the restaurant and catering industry. Food loss and waste are unnecessary at best.

But is eliminating food waste possible? Like all forms of waste management, reduction certainly is. All it takes is savvy and ethically minded individuals in managerial positions.

Data on Wasted Food

Wasted food accounts for 7.6 million tonnes in Australia annually, enough to fill Melbourne Cricket Grounds nine times.

This is in a country where 3.7 million households do not have access to food, a trend not uncommon in global food waste figures.

These stark figures illustrate the need for more ethical means to reduce food waste nationwide.

Preventing food waste goes beyond the common environmental incentive to manage waste effectively. Food waste is a problem that directly affects millions daily. It is a travesty that perfectly good food goes to waste when so many are without it.

8 Food Waste Management Methods

Food waste management methods tackle food waste and other food waste challenges through various methods. Here are 9 effective food waste management methods.

  1. Compost
  2. Food waste dewatering
  3. Plan your meals
  4. And freeze leftovers
  5. Animal feed
  6. Donate
  7. Recycle
  8. Use leftovers creatively


Composting is an effective way to manage food waste. Uneaten food, food scraps, and other food produced by businesses and households can be composted. This helps to lower greenhouse gas emissions and helps the entire supply chain of food production.

Food waste dewatering

This process involves removing water and other liquids from food waste. This process ensures that discarded food that ends up in landfills alongside other municipal solid waste does not take up unnecessary bulk space.

Plan your meals

A great way to prevent food waste is to plan your meals. This ensures that unnecessary wastage is kept to a minimum. It also helps a person gauge their food consumption patterns to make more informed decisions in the future.

Freeze leftovers

Food waste reduction begins at home with a decision to lessen food production and consumption. Freezing leftovers is a food start. All the food that you do not eat can be frozen and reheated later.

Animal feed

Discarded food ends make great animal food and help to reduce food loss and waste. How much food depends on the animal in question, but most household pets would love to play their part in fighting food waste.


Food donations help to prevent food waste and feed the needy. Many grocery stores, food banks, and local governments have feeding schemes. Donating food helps to reduce food waste through prevention and food recovery.


Recycling and food waste reduction initiatives go hand-in-hand. This is because they form part of larger waste management initiatives aimed at reducing the effects of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. It is also a practice encouraged by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Use leftovers creatively

Human consumption levels require high food supply levels. This helps to create large amounts of food waste due to so much food being in demand. But a great way to prevent wasted food is to use leftovers creatively and to save nutritious food.

Food Waste Ethics

Food waste ethics involve a variety of best practice principles, like food security, food recovery, and food waste prevention. But at the end of the day, it boils down to some basic human principles.

Overconsumption is a leading cause of food waste. Simply, food produced by the food industry exceeds accessible demand. We cannot end food waste when food is so expensive and unreachable by members of the population.

Food insecurity also plays a major part. Global warming and the rise of carbon dioxide have placed food security at an all-time low, resulting in many consumers over-purchasing food from grocery stores and other outlets. This must be curbed in order to reduce food waste.

Types of Food Waste

Food waste is a relatively large sector of the waste industry. This is because it accounts for food scraps, leftovers, discarded food, and other wasted food. People can reduce this if they store food properly and manage their consumption needs.

Reducing Food Waste

Reducing food waste entails addressing the entire food chain. While it is a complex issue, it is something that needs to be done.

Food waste prevention begins with humans considering their own consumption practices.

But food manufacturers play their own part. Wasting food begins with overproduction and charging prices that are unattainable to the starving masses. Before true reduction is ever reached, these inequalities need to be addressed. 

Ethical Food Waste Management

Ethical food waste management seeks to apply general waste management principles to how food is produced and disposed of. 

By borrowing from the principles of waste management, business owners can see a reduction in the total amount of food waste being produced. 

They will also see more effective and ethical systems being put into place. Many of the waste management practices revolve around greater production efficiencies. This trickles down into other systems and leads to less total waste. 

It will also lower costs across the supply chain. 

Closing thoughts

Nobody wants a situation where food is going to waste. Businesses, in particular those working in the culinary industry, do not want to be known for their wasteful production. 

It’s important for business owners to audit their food waste systems in order to build more effective and ethical streams to manage their waste. 

Companies like Cleanway can help with this. Their years of experience make them the perfect partner for companies wanting to develop more ethically-minded waste management practices.