Now that school has begun and with the Yomim Tovim are just around the corner, many families are starting to do their major shopping for Rosh Hashanah and the many Yomtov meals they will be cooking and serving.
However, despite all these purchases and food consumption, new research by Leket Israel and BDO Ziv Haft reveals that food sales in Israel leading up to Rosh Hashanah and Sukkos are estimated at NIS 7.5 billion ($2.1 billion), of which around NIS 1.9 billion ($538 million) is lost. This means that approximately 234 tons (468,000 lbs.) of food from production to consumption, will go to waste this Tishrei. This loss is equivalent to more than one fifth of the annual food waste.
According to the 2018 Food Waste and Rescue Report, produced by Leket Israel and BDO, the total food loss in Israel stands at 2.5 million tons (5.5 billion pounds), worth NIS 19.7 billion ($5.5 billion). The average household spends about NIS 2,900 ($820) on food during the Yomtov season, of which about NIS 440 ($125) is thrown away.
Israeli households spend about NIS 1.5 billion ($425 million) on fruits and vegetables during Tishrei, of which about 60,000 tons (132 million lbs.) are lost, worth NIS 470 million ($133 million). According to the 2018 Food Waste and Rescue Report, most of the loss in household consumption comes from fruits and vegetables.
Gidi Kroch CEO of Leket Israel: “Food rescue is an economic solution for transforming food surplus, which has a zero or negative value when wasted, into food with economic value that is then passed on and consumed by disadvantaged populations. At a time when the New Year is upon us, it is incredibly disheartening to see the amount of food we are wasting in preparation of the holiday meals. It is precisely during the holidays, when there are many family gatherings around the dinner table, that the needs of the weaker sectors are increasing. The food surplus already exists and all we need to do is to rescue the food and deliver it to those who need it most.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)