Today’s Food Waste Friday is a spotlight on SWAG (Instagram) which I learnt about last year. The following are their founder’s, Peita, responses to my food waste questions.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and company.
A: I brought The Swag to life for a number of very compelling reasons. Many years ago, I was an exhausted mum working full time in media sales and I stumbled across a documentary on children trapped in sex slavery and it broke my heart. This was my single greatest motivator, giving me the strength and determination I needed to launch a new product idea I’d been honing over several years (The Swag) and ultimately create a company that not only does great things for the world, however also generates a revenue stream to rescue children trapped in sex slavery. There are an estimated 10 million children under the age of 18 trapped in modern day slavery. I couldn’t unsee what I saw in that documentary and the sadness I felt when watching it has never left me.
The Swag also helps households around the world reduce their fresh food waste. Fruit and Vegetable waste is having a disastrous impact on our environment and our government’s waste management systems. The Swag helps families save money (through less food wasted) which also helps keep the cost of food down because every time any food is wasted this drives up the cost of all food. As we know, fresh fruit & vegetables are critical to physical and mental health and if we want to raise happy healthy children to grow up to be happy healthy adults, then we need to feed them an abundance of fresh veggies. It upsets me that many families who are struggling financially resort to processed foods as it’s cheaper and there is less wastage.
Then there’s the plastic (don’t get me started on this!). Our plastic pollution is slowly breaking down into tiny micro particles and our animals/fish are eating these particles, they’re even in our drinking water. This is why certified organic fruit & veggies are showing traces of plastic. Plastic is toxic to the human body plus the impact plastic has on our precious wildlife is nothing short of tragic.
Swag Australia is a ‘business with purpose’.
Q: What are your thoughts on our current food waste situation?
A: Whenever we throw food away, we’re not only throwing out our hard earned cash, we’re driving up the cost of all food and by doing this we are taking food from the mouths of the hungry. It’s that simple. By 2050 scientists predict fresh fruit & vegetables will be unaffordable for the masses. I don’t want to live in a world where only the wealthy can afford fresh fruit and veggies.
Q: What role do you believe your company can play in reducing people’s food waste?
A: Many families are looking for ways to cut back as the cost of living is increasing at a rapid pace. The Swag can save the average Aussie family $1,500 per year by reducing fresh food waste plus saves them time because longer lasting fruit & veg means fewer trips to the shops (which also means less impulse purchases). What’s super exciting to us is that many families who may not be at all eco minded, are purchasing The Swag to save money and when they have such a positive experience, this opens them up to the possibility of adopting other ways to reduce food waste & plastic in their home. Therefore, we are creating new eco warriors and that’s really exciting to us.
Q: What do you suggest is the easiest action a person can make when i comes to reducing their food waste?
- Write a shopping list & stick to it – supermarkets are psychologically designed to get you to buy more/drive impulse purchases
- Never go to the shops when you’re hungry as you’ll purchase way more than you need
- Storing your food the right way is critical to reduce food waste
- Get to know your freezer – fruits & veggies can freeze really well and they can be used later in smoothies, soups or stews.