Half of world’s food goes to waste, report says
2013-01-14 0:00

From: Reuters.com

Up to half of all the food produced worldwide ends up going to waste due to poor harvesting, storage and transport methods as well as irresponsible retailer and consumer behavior, a report said on Thursday.



The world produces about four billion metric tons of food a year but 1.2 to 2 billion metric tons is not eaten, the study by the London-based Institution of Mechanical Engineers said.

"This level of wastage is a tragedy that cannot continue if we are to succeed in the challenge of sustainably meeting our future food demands," said.

In developed countries, like Britain, efficient farming methods, transport and storage mean that most of the wastage occurs through retail and customer behavior.

Retailers produce 1.6 million metric tons of food waste a year because they reject crops of edible fruit and vegetables because they do not meet exacting size and appearance criteria, the report by the engineering society said.

"Thirty percent of what is harvested from the field never actually reaches the marketplace (primarily the supermarket) due to trimming, quality selection and failure to conform to purely cosmetic criteria," it said.

Of the food which does reach supermarket shelves, 30-50 percent of what is bought in developed countries is thrown away by customers, often due to poor understanding of "best before" and "use by" dates.

A "use by" date is when there is a health risk associated with using food after that date. A "best before" date is more about quality - when it expires it does not necessarily mean food is harmful but it may lose some flavor and texture.

However, many consumers do not know the difference between the labels and bin food after "best before" dates.

Promotional offers and bulk discounts also encourage shoppers to buy large quantities in excess of their needs.

In Britain, about 10.2 billion pounds’ ($16.3 billion) worth of food is thrown away from homes every year, with one billion pounds’ worth being perfectly edible, the report found.

By contrast, in less developed countries, such as in sub-Saharan Africa or South East Asia, wastage mostly happens due to inefficient harvesting and poor handling and storage.

In South-East Asian countries, for example, losses of rice range from 37 to 80 percent of their entire production, totaling about 180 million metric tons per year, the report said.

[...]


Read the full article at: reuters.com






Related Articles
10 Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste
Simple awareness reduces college food waste
Bread that lasts for 60 days could cut food waste?
Study Finds Cutting Food Waste Could Feed One Billion People
The Illusion of Choice in the Commercial Food Industry
Desperate Times: Denied food stamps, mother shoots kids, self
Haiti: Kitchen Gardens Help Keep Hunger at Bay
The Hunger Wars in Our Future
The Great Hunger: Irish Potato Famine


Latest News from our Front Page

Barbara Lerner Spectre On Twitter!
2015-07-28 23:04
Kevin MacDonald writes in 2010: In the video below, Barbara Lerner Spectre, who runs a government-funded Jewish study group in Sweden, makes the following remarkable statement—remarkable because she does not attribute anti-Jewish attitudes to irrational prejudices or even Muslims who hate Israel. Instead she says that it’s because of the “leading role” played by Jews in the movement toward multiculturalism: “I think ...
Sweden investigating underwater wreckage as possible Russian submarine
2015-07-28 20:38
What may be the wreckage of a Russian submarine is seen off the coast of Sweden The Swedish military is studying a video taken by shipwreck hunters who say it shows a wrecked submarine, just off the country’s eastern coast, which appears to be Russian. Ocean X Team, the company behind the discovery, said on its website: “It is unclear how old ...
Literal Cuckservatives
2015-07-28 20:30
The Dissidenti™™ and their frazzled hall monitors buzzsaw with talk about “cuckservatives.” It’s the shiv du jour, you see. As shivs go, it is in this ‘umble narrator’s opinion one of the more lethal of the semantic shanks employed by dark realists. Lovers and haters of the Cuck Shiv gird for battle (well, the haters girdle for battle). The wielders love ...
The Inevitable - The Daily Beast Begins The Personal Attacks To Tear Down Trump….
2015-07-28 19:46
Only the politically naive didn’t see this coming. The liberal outlet “The Daily Beast” begins to attack Donald Trump personally, through a method of hiding behind citations in old books and manipulating content/context delivery to attack their target. The Daily Beast takes this very specific and very strategic approach because references to the statements/opinions of others  allows them to avoid libel and ...
Residents of Dresden Wake up to Find Overnight, City Park Has Been Turned Into Migrant Camp For 2,000
2015-07-27 23:34
The German city which dared to stand-up to their government’s policy of accepting Islamisation and mass migration appears to have been punished for dissent by the zero-notice imposition of a migrant camp. Government employees stood by the entrance of a city park in Dresden, Saxony on Thursday night handing out fliers to passers-by informing them the next day the green space, ...
More News »