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

NATO Exercise in Ukraine Coincided with MH-17 Shoot-down
2014 07 24
Rapid Trident was omitted from the flurry of coverage on the shoot-down MH-17. From the U.S. Army in Europe website: Rapid Trident supports interoperability among Ukraine, the United States, NATO and Partnership for Peace member nations. The exercise helps prepare participants to operate successfully in a joint, multinational, integrated environment with host-nation support from civil and governmental agencies. ...
Warning of ’imminent’ terror attack in Norway
2014 07 24
Norwegians were warned Thursday of the concrete possibility of a terror attack occurring in that country at the hands of people with connections to an extremist group in Syria. A press conference was called in Oslo, Norway on Thursday where an announcement was made of a "possible concrete threat" to national security in that country from terrorists related to an extremist ...
Judge says government can access everything in a Gmail account
2014 07 24
All your emails are belong to us. At least that’s what the latest court order from a judge in New York says. The warrant, granted on June 11, states that the government can access all the content and files contained in a Gmail account. Yes, this is a significant blow to privacy. The subject of this specific search relates to a money laundering ...
Scotland Yard Spied on Grieving Families: secret surveillance after police victim shot seven times in head ’by mistake’
2014 07 24
More terror from the ’anti-terror’ brigade. Undercover police gathered evidence on 18 grieving families By Rob Evans and Vikram Dodd | The Guardian Undercover police officers secretly gathered intelligence over two decades on 18 families fighting to get justice from the police, it was revealed on Thursday. The intelligence covering high-profile campaigns was collected between the mid-1980s and 2005, and affected grieving families ...
Air Algerie AH5017 with 116 onboard goes missing for hours, found crashed in Mali
2014 07 24
An Air Algerie flight carrying 110 passengers and six crew members has reportedly crashed in Mali after having disappeared from radar early on Thursday morning between Burkina Faso and Algeria. A French Ministry of Defense official told Fox News that the two French fighter jets located the wreckage of the plane, which had crashed in Mali. An airport official additionally confirmed ...
More News »