Food waste comes from two sources: household food waste and commercial food waste.
Until recently, Malaysian food waste data was mostly collected from household food waste.
The household waste takes up about 44.5% of total food waste, while the commercial food waste contributes about 31.4%.
According to the Khazanah Research Institute (KRI), Malaysian households waste an estimated 16,688 tonnes of food daily!
It was difficult to calculate the total amount of food waste generated commercially, because no organisation was willing to voluntarily provide its food waste information.
Earlier this month, Tesco Malaysia announced that they will be publishing their food waste data, being the first commercial company to do so.
Before this, Tesco Malaysia has already been working closely with organisations that save and distribute unsold but edible foods to the needy.
But there are still tonnes of perfectly edible food that gets thrown out daily: from catering at functions to hotel buffets and day-old bread from bakeries. What happens then?
There are plenty of Malaysian organisations and foodbanks that distribute all these foods to the hungry.
1. Food Aid Foundation
The NGO is essentially a food bank where unwanted foods from the supply chain are rescued and then distributed to people in need.
They accept donations from manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, companies, as well as personal donations.
2. The Lost Food Project
The Lost Food Project also works with multiple grocery stores to save food that are near their expiry date or would have been otherwise trashed.
3. What A Waste
What A Waste does take donations of cooked foods, but they have a team of professional kitchen helpers to ensure that the food is well-packed and still good to eat.
4. Kechara Soup Kitchen
Kechara Soup Kitchen serves freshly cooked food every day (except Sunday) to those in need. They also collect surplus groceries and food from hypermarkets to be delivered to needy families.
They have soup kitchen branches in KL, Johor, Penang, while they have food banks in other states.
5. SESO Malaysia (Save Environment Save Ourselves)
SESO makes eating an experience for the needy and homeless. They set up tables and chairs by the road, take “orders”, and serve a three-course meal, just like a proper restaurant.
It’s a way to feed others while providing them dignity and fostering a community where they can have positive human interactions.
So if you or your company has a lot of food that sadly ends up in the landfills, please reach out to these NGOs and to not let the food go to waste!
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.