MANILA, June 4 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government urged the public on Tuesday to cut down food waste and its corresponding ecological impact by developing habits that reduce the amount of food that goes to waste.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje made the call as the country celebrates Environment Month in June, kicking off with the observance of the World Environment Day on Wednesday under the global theme "Think, Eat, Save" which is aimed at reducing food waste.
He stressed the need for every citizen to rethink his/her eating habits and be mindful of the way food is produced and consumed.
"Whenever possible, we should therefore be more selective in our food choices," Paje said, urging the public to be "more environmentally-responsible consumers."
The environment chief noted that "some types of food, like beef, take more resources to produce per kilogram, than others."
Paje said people can reduce their so-called "foodprint" by patronizing food produced in an environmentally sound manner such as those grown organically or packaged using recycled materials to lessen waste dumped into landfills that generate methane, a relatively potent greenhouse gas.
He said organic food and locally-produced products "require less emissions-producing handling and transport to bring to our tables."
"Many of us give very little regard on the entire chain from food production, which requires so many raw materials that are often sourced from the environment, up to food consumption, where waste is often detrimental to environmental health," Paje pointed out.
The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization has said that 1.3 billion metric tons of food is wasted every year. On a daily basis, a seventh of the world's population "goes to bed hungry," while more than 20,000 children under the age of five die from hunger.