Join The Fight Against Food Waste With Surthany Hejeij

March 6, 2024

In a world where millions suffer from hunger and malnutrition, the staggering amount of food waste is nothing short of a travesty. Across the globe, mountains of perfectly edible food are discarded daily, contributing to a crisis that not only squanders precious resources but also perpetuates inequality and suffering. From developed nations to developing ones, the issue of food waste transcends borders, demanding urgent attention and collective action.

Photo Credit: Muhammad Muzamil

The magnitude of food waste is staggering. According to the United Nations, approximately one-third of all food produced globally is lost or wasted each year. This equates to a staggering 1.3 billion tons of food, worth nearly $1 trillion. In Australia alone, an estimated 7.6 million tons of food are wasted annually, with households accounting for over one-third of this total.

Food waste occurs at every stage of the supply chain, from production and distribution to consumption. In developing countries, inadequate infrastructure and poor storage facilities contribute to significant losses of perishable foods before they even reach consumers. In developed nations like Australia, consumer habits such as overbuying, improper storage, and strict cosmetic standards for produce lead to vast amounts of food being discarded.

While food waste may seem like a distant problem for those in affluent nations, its repercussions are felt acutely by the most vulnerable members of society. In a cruel irony, while millions of tons of food are wasted each year, millions more people around the world, including within Australia, struggle to access adequate nutrition. According to the World Food Programme, approximately 690 million people globally suffer from chronic hunger, while millions of children are malnourished and stunted.

TikTok Influencer Surthany Hejeij

Surthany Hejeij – @surthycooks

In the vibrant world of social media, where influencers often vie for attention with flashy content and glamorous lifestyles, one TikTok creator stands out for her unique mission and heartfelt approach to cooking. Meet Surthany Hejeij, a rising star whose culinary creations not only tantalise the taste buds but also inspire positive change and reflection on the impact of food waste.

Surthy’s journey into the world of cooking began as a simple passion for creating delicious meals and sharing them with others. What started as a hobby soon blossomed into a platform for meaningful connection and social impact. Her genuine love for cooking, combined with her desire to make a difference in the world, laid the foundation for her transformative mission as an influencer.

At the heart of Suthy’s content is a commitment to promoting healthy thinking and mindfulness around food consumption. Through her engaging TikTok videos, Surthy not only showcases mouthwatering recipes but also shares insights into the importance of mindful eating and the consequences of food waste. By encouraging her followers to think critically about their food choices and consumption habits, she hopes to inspire positive change and foster a more sustainable approach to nutrition.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Surthy’s work is her dedication to using her platform for social good. In addition to sharing delicious recipes and cooking tips, she regularly cooks up large batches of food to distribute to the less fortunate in her community. Whether it’s preparing meals for homeless shelters, food banks, or individuals in need, her generosity knows no bounds. Through her acts of kindness and compassion, Surthy not only nourishes bodies but also uplifts spirits and fosters a sense of community.

Video via Instagram: @surthycooks

Beyond her charitable endeavours, Surthy also serves as a vocal advocate for raising awareness about the issue of food waste. In her TikTok videos and social media posts, she highlights the staggering amount of food that is wasted each year and encourages her followers to reflect on the environmental and social implications of this pervasive problem. By shedding light on the issue of food waste and inspiring action, her hopes to spark meaningful conversations and drive positive change in the way we approach food consumption and distribution.

In a world inundated with superficiality and excess, Surthy stands as a beacon of authenticity and compassion. Through her creative cooking videos, acts of kindness, and advocacy for social change, she exemplifies the transformative power of using social media for good. As she continues to inspire her followers to embrace healthy thinking, mindfulness, and compassion, Surthy’s impact on the digital landscape and beyond is sure to leave a lasting legacy of positivity and change.

In Australia, there are several charities and organisations dedicated to recycling food and redistributing it to those in need.

Here are a few:

OzHarvest: OzHarvest is Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, collecting surplus food from various sources and distributing it to charities across the country. They accept donations of excess food from businesses, events, and individuals to prevent it from going to waste.

Foodbank Australia: Foodbank is the largest food relief organisation in Australia, working to alleviate hunger by rescuing and distributing surplus food to charities, schools, and community groups. They accept donations of non-perishable food items, fresh produce, and monetary contributions.

SecondBite: SecondBite collects surplus fresh food from farmers, markets, and food businesses and redistributes it to community food programs that support people in need. They accept donations of fresh produce, packaged goods, and non-perishable items.

FareShare: FareShare rescues surplus food from supermarkets, wholesalers, and farmers and turns it into nutritious meals for those experiencing food insecurity. They accept donations of surplus food, as well as financial contributions to support their meal preparation programs.

Food For Change: Food For Change is a social enterprise that rescues surplus produce from farmers and suppliers and uses it to produce value-added products such as jams, chutneys, and sauces. They accept donations of surplus produce and support local farmers through fair pricing and sustainable practices.

These are just a few examples of charities and organisations in Australia dedicated to food rescue and redistribution. Donating food or funds to these organisations can make a significant impact in alleviating hunger and reducing food waste in the community.

Addressing the issue of food waste requires a multifaceted approach that involves governments, businesses, and individuals alike. Governments must enact policies and regulations to reduce food waste throughout the supply chain, incentivise food donation and redistribution efforts, and promote sustainable agriculture practices. Businesses can implement measures to minimise waste in their operations, such as improving inventory management, reducing overproduction, and donating surplus food to those in need.

As individuals, we also have a role to play in combating food waste. Simple actions such as planning meals, buying only what we need, properly storing perishable foods, and supporting initiatives to rescue and redistribute surplus food can make a significant difference. By being mindful of our consumption habits and respecting the value of food, we can contribute to a more sustainable and equitable food system.

The issue of food waste is not just an environmental or economic concern—it is a moral imperative. In a world where so many go hungry, the squandering of food resources is unconscionable. As we commemorate International Women’s Day, let us renew our commitment to addressing the root causes of food waste and building a future where everyone has access to nutritious and affordable food. By working together, we can create a world where no one goes to bed hungry, and every meal is a celebration of abundance and compassion.

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