RIGA - Around one-third of food produced in Latvia ends up in trash every year, and more than half of it comes from households, the SKDS research center's head Arnis Kaktins said during a discussion on socially responsible behaviors to lower food waste.
Kaktins said that more than two-thirds or 67 percent of the population of Latvia tend to throw away food waste, and this figure has increased by 8 percent in one year, as LETA learned at the Riga City Council. 20 percent of residents throw away food products at least once a week, 5 percent so several times a week, and 20 percent at least once or a few times a month.
"We are all talking about living better, but statistics show that the gap between the poor and the rich is widening," said Irena Kondrate, head of the Riga City Council's Welfare Department.
Agita Kraukle, head of the "For Satiated Latvia" project, said that the tradition of cooking at home has disappeared in society, although it is less expensive to buy the ingredients and prepare meals at home.
On the other hand, Riga Central Market CEO Artis Druvinieks emphasized successful cooperation with the Riga City Council's Welfare Department, which regularly organizes free healthy nutrition master classes for residents at the Riga Central Market, offering not only ideas for diversifying menus but also for making more economical purchases.
Svetlana Alminovica-Miljanovica, senior expert at the Food and Veterinary Service, said that the service monitored and ensured safe food circulation and was ready to cooperate so that other similar projects could be carried out.
Participants in the discussion agreed that people had to develop smart shopping and management skills, because mismanagement causes losses to individual households as well as to society as a whole.