Food waste doubles during Ramadan, and this is a massive issue socially and economically – we need to work as a community to combat excess,”– Daniel Solomon, HeroGo
According to research, food waste in the UAE doubles during Ramadan, costing the local economy more than $3.5 billion per year*, and meaning that thousands of tonnes of produce end up in landfill, all while some members of society are unable to access food.
“The holy month of Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection and self-improvement. However, sadly, it has also become a time where we experience great wastage of food, and this wastage has become a major problem. With large feasts to break fast and the abundance of food, it is easy to overindulge and waste food. Roughly, 38% of the food prepared every day in the UAE is wasted, this jumps to around 60% during Ramadan**,” said Daniel Solomon, Co-founder, HeroGo.
“In addition, the average waste of an individual in the UAE is 2.7kg per day and this doubles to 4.5kg during Ramadan**. That’s the equivalent of every person throwing 27 carrots away every day. Not only does that waste food, that contributes to 54kg of carbon emissions (in one month that’s the same as 3 tanks of fuel), plus wasting over 1000 litres of water. The problem is complex, however, our community members can make simple steps to reduce their impact. By tackling this issue the UAE will not only reach their goals for Food Security but also honour its global pledge to reduce food waste by half by 2030,” continues Solomon.
HeroGo partners directly with farmers and wholesalers to not only reduce the cost of food but also rescue and reclaim high-quality fresh produce that may have otherwise gone to waste, and puts this food back into the community through its delivery of affordable fruit and vegetable boxes to homes, offices and businesses. HeroGo also pledges that for every box delivered, it will provide two meals for two people facing hunger to support UN Sustainable goals for Zero Hunger.
In the run-up to Ramadan and throughout the month, HeroGo will be sharing waste-eliminating tips which can be implemented in the home, such as:
– Plan meals ahead of time to avoid overbuying
– Make a shopping list before going to the supermarket
– Don’t go shopping on an empty stomach
– Use the ‘first in, first out’ rule to rotate the food in your fridge
– Share meals and leftovers with loved ones
– Donate excess sealed food to the UAE food bank
Recently, HeroGo signed an MOU with Ne’ma, a token of the joint efforts to reduce food waste. HeroGo and Ne’ma pledged to collaborate on raising awareness, educating, and engaging with community members to inspire and reconsider their food consumption behaviours, cherish food, and understand the value of reducing food waste. The cooperation with HeroGo represents a significant step towards consolidating efforts and collaborative initiatives aimed at enabling food waste reduction. It also represents an opportunity to connect with key stakeholders, design collaborative initiatives, pilots, and projects to develop constructive solutions and reinforce positive consumption behaviour to reduce food loss and waste under the umbrella of the Ne’ma initiative.
Through its sustainable practices, last year saw HeroGo contribute to a water saving of 98 million litres – that’s equivalent to 39 Olympic-sized swimming pools; stopped 142,340kg of CO2e being emitted – enough to power one home for 35 years; and provided around 26,000 meals to those in need.
*Source: Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE).
**Source: Dubai Carbon