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Addressing airline food waste

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Reduce, reuse, recycle: that exhortation is increasingly, albeit slowly, being adopted by airlines and airport authorities. There is another fix that is far easier to implement: make snacks and meals more attractive, even at the tail end of the plane. Tonnes of cabin food waste currently comes from largely unfinished or untouched airline meals of dubious palatability and pronounced blandness. Donation for human consumption, conversion to biofuel or animal feed are forbidden due to a destination's quarantine regulations. Most of these meals have to be incinerated. If airlines served tastier offerings, passengers would eat these snacks and meals willingly and heartily, thereby avoiding the creation of food waste in the first place. We'd be a more satisfied lot and be likely to use the same airline again.

The efforts of food rescue volunteers to redistribute intact packed meals to the homeless and hungry that would otherwise have been discarded is laudable. Airports may be more bountiful than restaurants when it comes to the diversion of safe food to the needy. Furthermore food rescuers reaffirm for me the philosophy that all food comes from living beings or plants. To discard any food wastefully would be to show disrespect for the life that was sacrificed in its production.

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