On the occasion of the International Awareness Day for Food Loss and Waste (September 29), the Lebanese American University (LAU) Nutrition program and AUB FAFS Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences (NFSC) jointly organized a panel discussion on Combatting Food Waste for Improved Food Security in Lebanon.
The event brought together Dr. Mohamad Abou Haidar, the Director General of the Lebanese Ministry of Economy and Trade, Mr. Paolo Marengo, the International Specialist on Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Consumption and Production at UNEP Regional Office for West Asia, Dr. Mohamad G. Abiad, NFSC Professor of Food Science, Dr. Hussein Hassan, Associate Professor of Food Science and Technology at LAU, and Dr. Lama Mattar, Associate Professor of Nutrition at LAU.
Over the past four years, Dr. Abiad has been actively researching the drivers of food waste generation and exploring possible solutions for mitigating food wastage to reduce its associated environmental, economic, and social losses. He has published over ten research articles on the topic focusing on the case of Lebanon and the Arab world.
During the panel discussion, Dr. Abiad explained that people tend to generate more food waste when dining out and that more waste is generated at restaurants serving mezze-type cuisine. Dr. Abiad highlighted that food waste generation can be reduced by 21.3% due to awareness campaigns, 17.6% due to proactive legislative frameworks, and 14.3% due to fiscal incentives.
The experts also recommended practical methods to reduce food waste, such as planning meals, shopping smart, storing food properly, keeping serving sizes in check, avoiding over-ordering at restaurants, and sharing and donating surplus food.
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