Food wastage on plane

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ermen

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I think that it is a travesty that so much food is wasted on a plane due to
i) customers not finishing their meal or at least items on their meal
ii) extras loaded to cater for choice

In my estimate, probably 30% of the total caloric value of food is wasted?

Surely there is a cost saving to be hard here... how can airlines* cut food costs and yet offer choice?

*Actually, I read somewhere that supermarkets are the worst offenders...
 

cirqueboy

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I pre order my food before flying and do eat what I order.

If I know I will not eat on board then I choose the maximize my sleep option.

Pretty easy really....
 

ermen

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I pre order my food before flying and do eat what I order.

If I know I will not eat on board then I choose the maximize my sleep option.

Pretty easy really....

The airline still had to order / cater a meal for you even if you chose to sleep...
 

medhead

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The airline still had to order / cater a meal for you even if you chose to sleep...

I doubt they cater a meal for all passengers. I regularly take a 6am flight. There are a number if regular passengers who never take the breakfast and just take a water at most. If the airline knows what they are doing they would short cater accordingly on that flight.
 

Archphoto

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*Actually, I read somewhere that supermarkets are the worst offenders...

I used to work retail at a hypermarket - yes throwing food out was huge!!! At one stage some was donated to Vinnies etc - "Best Before" doesn't mean it has died, and any bread/cakes/donuts etc left from the day was also donated.

Unfortunately, it was suddenly not ok to do so - if it couldn't be sold "in-store", it wasn't allowed to be given away either. Idiocy at the highest level IMHO, it really was very sad seeing it all being dumped into large waste bins, when the average household would keep a loaf for at least 3-4 days before it was all used up. :(
 

Sprucegoose

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I think that it is a travesty that so much food is wasted on a plane due to
i) customers not finishing their meal or at least items on their meal
ii) extras loaded to cater for choice

In my estimate, probably 30% of the total caloric value of food is wasted?

Surely there is a cost saving to be hard here... how can airlines* cut food costs and yet offer choice?

*Actually, I read somewhere that supermarkets are the worst offenders...

The western world is the worst offender !!!!
 

Danger

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As mentioned I think the problem lies with Australian food standard regulations. It's not uncommon for restaurants to not provide a doggy bag for fear of litigation if the food goes bad.

My guess is airlines would happily - and eagerly - donate perfectly fine meals to the needy if laws and regulations permitted it.

I'd be very interested to know if the contents of used trays are routinely dumped, or if there is some process where untouched items (like a packaged muffin or the tiny Tic Tac wrapper or even a banana) are thrown in the rubbish.
 

Boogs

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All 'waste' incl un eaten meals coming of an int flight is under quarantine regs so is disposed of (at great cost I might add) so no chance of being donated etc.

On Dom flights the food is all binned.

Drinks carts, are another matter!!!

The cost of labour to separate, store and distribute etc the un-used food would be huge. The biggest cost of catering is the labour.
 

get me outta here

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I have seen some very interesting programs on 'dumpster divers', also illegal I guess now, who seemed to get a well rounded diet from foods still packaged out in the big bin.

almost everything from what looked to
I used to work retail at a hypermarket - yes throwing food out was huge!!! At one stage some was donated to Vinnies etc - "Best Before" doesn't mean it has died, and any bread/cakes/donuts etc left from the day was also donated.

Unfortunately, it was suddenly not ok to do so - if it couldn't be sold "in-store", it wasn't allowed to be given away either. Idiocy at the highest level IMHO, it really was very sad seeing it all being dumped into large waste bins, when the average household would keep a loaf for at least 3-4 days before it was all used up. :(
 

Himeno

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I used to work retail at a hypermarket - yes throwing food out was huge!!! At one stage some was donated to Vinnies etc - "Best Before" doesn't mean it has died, and any bread/cakes/donuts etc left from the day was also donated.

Unfortunately, it was suddenly not ok to do so - if it couldn't be sold "in-store", it wasn't allowed to be given away either. Idiocy at the highest level IMHO, it really was very sad seeing it all being dumped into large waste bins, when the average household would keep a loaf for at least 3-4 days before it was all used up. :(
Woolworths is really going at this issue at the moment. They want "Zero food waste to landfill" by the end of the year. Which means they are changing many processes and ordering systems to reduce waste and increasing the amount of donation partners. I saw a 30 page document a few weeks ago covering each department and what can and can't be donated and how donations are to be done.


Part of the problem is that many people don't understand the difference between "use by" and "best before".
 

Melburnian1

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Brumbys or Bakers Delight donate (among others) to my local Catholic Church's relief efforts. This is sensible, but I agree that for airlines, the cost of labour is a major stumbling block while it is hardly practical (or allowable from a security point of view) to have volunteers at an airport.
 

TheInsider

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Back in the day, left over food was sometimes given to the staff at the end of the day or sectors. These days this doesn't happen, even if crew offer ground staff a drink, managers advise against it, this view is somehow based on 'stealing'.
 

Hvr

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The other issue is suitable storage for food before it is collected by the next user. Also, if anything happens e.g. food poisoning then the original owner of the food may well be held liable despite not having control over its storage/handling for awhile.

This is also the reason why some restaurants refuse to let you take uneaten food home.
 

under the radar

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Woolworths is really going at this issue at the moment. They want "Zero food waste to landfill" by the end of the year. Which means they are changing many processes and ordering systems to reduce waste and increasing the amount of donation partners. I saw a 30 page document a few weeks ago covering each department and what can and can't be donated and how donations are to be done.


Part of the problem is that many people don't understand the difference between "use by" and "best before".

I always interpret 'best before' date as a rough 'guide' as to when it needs to be turfed ;) ...even on the odd occasion the 'use by' date gets 'stretched' too :oops:.. It helps built 'resistance' :D ... usually chuck it if it smells or looks 'iffy'..but then again I used to eat dirt as a youngster :shock:... 50yrs young and I'm still alive..much to some peoples disgust :D
 

markis10

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I always interpret 'best before' date as a rough 'guide' as to when it needs to be turfed ;) ...even on the odd occasion the 'use by' date gets 'stretched' too :oops:.. It helps built 'resistance' :D ... usually chuck it if it smells or looks 'iffy'..but then again I used to eat dirt as a youngster :shock:... 50yrs young and I'm still alive..much to some peoples disgust :D

Use by is when food is safe to eat, FWIW most woollies meat has a use by when it should be a best before, which is essentially the date by which the food starts to loose its nutrients etc.
 

Quickstatus

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Simple airline websites should allow preorder your snacks.

Some airports such as YVR and MSP allow restaurant quality food to be ordered from airport restaurants to be packaged and brought tovyou at the gate.

This would save a lot of time in trolley dolley activities. I reckon the airlines should allow pickup of a snack box as your board your airplane just as you pickup your headphones. Drinks are a different matter as there is a risk of spillage of hot liquids on passengers
 
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Himeno

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Use by is when food is safe to eat, FWIW most woollies meat has a use by when it should be a best before
ah... no. My store has ~400 lines in the meat department. 30 of them have "use by" on them. Everything else is "best before".
 

markis10

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basso

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Use by is when food is safe to eat, FWIW most woollies meat has a use by when it should be a best before, which is essentially the date by which the food starts to loose its nutrients etc.
I just checked the Woolworths meat I have, and it all says Best Before. I am not sure (and by that, I mean, I don't know) where in the supply chain the labels get printed, but maybe there is a printer set up wrongly somewhere.
 
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