Half of world’s food goes to waste, report says
2013 01 14

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

VOTER FRAUD: Was the Scottish Independence Referendum Rigged to Fail?
2014 09 20
Was voter fraud committed during the Scottish Independence referendum? It has been confirmed that the names of 10 people were already crossed off a voter list prior them voting inside a polling station. According to reports, the Glasgow City Council confirmed that there were ten cases of suspected electoral fraud occurring at polling stations following the Scottish referendum vote on the 18th. ...
Scandinavians Split Over Syrian Influx
2014 09 20
This exemplifies the insanity of Scandinavia. The narrow victory of the left-leaning Social Democratic Party in Sweden’s elections last Sunday marked a broad shift in its politics. But a new coalition government is unlikely to reconsider one of the country’s most challenging policies: its response to the Syrian civil war. Sweden has taken an open-door approach to people fleeing the conflict, ...
The Israel lobby in United Kingdom - Who Runs Britain?
2014 09 20
Who runs British politics? Who in Britain supports all the wars the UK has been involved in? The Israel Lobby in the UK - Full Documentary By Peter Oborne from Dispatchees Links from Youtube: Zionist attack on western civilization Reed Douglas - The Controversery of Zion Source: youtube.com The cowardice at the heart of UK relationship with Israel Close friends and allies: Prime Minister David Cameron ...
Another Palestinian Mass Grave Discovered, Evidence of Massacre
2014 09 20
Another mass grave discovered, evidence of 1948 Judaic holocaust by bullets, knives and bludgeons against Palestinians. The Israeli military admits to have been surprised by the abilities of Palestinian resistance fighters during its recent war on the Gaza Strip. A top Israeli military official says he’s impressed by the training of Palestinian resistance fighters from Hamas and the Islamic Jihad groups. He ...
Russian Media to be owned by Russians
2014 09 20
Comment: Russian media by and for Russians? Wow, revolutionary! I guess they are stick of foreign oligarchs and zionist with dual citizenship. Duma seeks limits on foreign ownership of Russian media companies A group of opposition lawmakers have prepared a bill that orders Russian mass media companies to have at least 80 percent of their stock held by Russian investors. The bill is backed ...
More News »