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Article: “KNOT a DAY” Refrigerator and food loss

“KNOT a DAY” Refrigerator and food loss

Do you all know what day June 21st is?

One is the "summer solstice" . And another one is “ Refrigerator Day”! The summer solstice was established by the Japan Electrical Manufacturers Association (JEMA) because it marks the transition from the rainy season to summer and is the day when refrigerators are most active in the year.

KAPOK KNOT , which aims to create a world where everyone can easily live a sustainable life through making plant-based clothing, will also communicate about sustainable initiatives that can be done in everyday life.

This time, in honor of Refrigerator Day, we would like to introduce what we can do from the perspective of refrigerators and food loss.

~Contents of this article~
・Current status of food loss
・Why it is necessary to reduce food loss
・Causes of food loss
・How to use the refrigerator to reduce food loss
・To make use of leftover ingredients

Current status of food loss

Current status of food loss

"Food loss" refers to food that is thrown away even though it is still edible. Currently, 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted annually, which is one third of the world's food production . Approximately 61.2 billion tons of food is lost each year in Japan , which equates to approximately 5 Tokyo Dome cups or 1 Japanese rice bowl per Japanese person .

In addition to wasting large amounts of food, food loss also has a negative impact on the environment. Surplus food is disposed of as combustible garbage, but food that contains water emits a lot of carbon dioxide when transported or incinerated. Landfilling of ash after incineration also poses a large environmental burden.

Efforts to reduce food loss are also included in the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) adopted at the 2015 United Nations Summit . One of the 169 targets (achievement criteria) of the SDGs is to halve global per capita food waste at the retail and consumption level by 2030, and reduce food losses in production and supply chains such as post-harvest losses . The goal is to reduce the Achieving this requires not only efforts by business operators, but also a change in the mindset of each and every citizen.

Causes of food loss

Causes of food loss

Why does food loss occur?
There are two main causes in Japan . Business food loss and household food loss.

Business-related food loss includes unsold food at grocery stores such as supermarkets and convenience stores, leftover food at restaurants, and substandard food that cannot be sold. This amounts to approximately 3.28 million tons.

Home-based food waste includes leftover food, food that is purchased but thrown away without being eaten, and food that is thrown away as garbage during cooking. This leaves the remaining 2.84 million tons.

As for the second cause, it is possible to reduce it little by little through our efforts. In terms of how to use your refrigerator, we will introduce some initiatives that you can put into practice right away.

Reference: Know the current situation of food loss | Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

How to use the refrigerator to reduce food loss

Here are two ways to use your refrigerator to reduce food waste . These are ``visualization of the contents'' and ``methods of preservation so that they can be used up.''

Let's take a closer look at each.


① Visualization of contents

Take a look at your refrigerator at home. Are there any foods hidden in the shadows?

By eliminating these "blind spots" in the refrigerator, you can reduce the amount of food you forget you bought and end up throwing away.

<What can you do to visualize it? >

・Put small items in a basket!

・Do not add seasonings that can be stored at room temperature!

・Save leftover side dishes in a transparent container where you can see inside!

・Place items with close expiration dates in a conspicuous place!

Preservation method

How to save for use up

What about cases where you have leftover food and throw it away? In that case, consider how to store it after purchase to keep it as fresh as possible and use it up.

■How to preserve meat and fish

Remove from the tray and freeze in plastic wrap or a freezer bag. At that time, remove the air and flatten it thinly to prevent frost from forming.

■How to preserve vegetables

Leafy vegetables such as komatsuna and spinach can be cut into convenient sizes and frozen. For vegetables with a high water content, such as Chinese cabbage and cabbage, you can keep them from drying out and make them last longer by covering the cores and cut ends with damp kitchen paper, wrapping them in plastic wrap, and placing them in the crisper. 

■How to store bread

If you can't eat them all right away, freeze them individually in plastic wrap or freezer bags. It will be more fluffy if you let it thaw naturally, but you can also put it in the toaster while frozen .

*Reusable beeswax wraps are more sustainable! (A cloth impregnated with beeswax or vegetable oil. When warmed with your hands, it becomes soft and can be used to wrap dishes and food.)

*When organizing the refrigerator, be careful not to leave it open. Also, be careful not to leave frozen foods or raw foods out.

*Check the expiry date and best-before date. The expiration date refers to the period when it is safe to eat, so if the expiration date has passed, do not eat it and throw it away. The expiration date is the period by which a product can be eaten deliciously, so don't throw it away immediately after the expiry date, and decide whether it's edible or not.

Reference: Aim! Zero food loss: " Let's clean out the refrigerator together as a family" | Consumer Affairs Agency

To make use of the remaining ingredients


No matter how hard you try to organize your refrigerator, there are still some foods left over. Efforts are being made to ensure that these do not go to waste .

◯Food drive

An activity in which leftover food from home is brought to schools, workplaces, etc., and the food is then donated to local welfare organizations, facilities, food banks, etc.

The money will be used to support people who are unable to eat for a variety of reasons, including poverty and family circumstances.

*Efforts in Japan: Second Harvest Japan

◯Salvage party

Salvage has the meaning of "rescuing". This is exactly what it means to ``rescue'' leftover food at home and have a party with the food you cook. Sometimes participants cook the food themselves, and sometimes a professional chef cooks for them.

In today's world, it is difficult to gather together, so an initiative called ``Salvage Lab'' is being launched to create online menus similar to those made at salvage parties.

*Efforts in Japan: Food Salvage General Incorporated Association



Food loss not only produces a large amount of waste, but also leads to environmental destruction.

Carbon dioxide emissions are something that KAPOK KNOT pays special attention to in the process of making clothes (please see this article for information on current efforts).

The efforts of each and every one of us will lead to the reduction of food loss, such as the refrigerator innovations introduced this time. Please try it out today!