If the amount of food wasted around the world were reduced by just 25% there would be enough food to feed everyone on the planet, according to the UN.
Each year 1.3bn tonnes of food, about a third of all that is produced, is wasted, including about 45% of all fruit and vegetables, 35% of fish and seafood, 30% of cereals, 20% of dairy products and 20% of meat. Meanwhile, 795 million people suffer from severe hunger and malnutrition.
Well-publicised attempts to combat the loss of food – such as recent laws in France that require supermarkets to distribute unsold food to charities – have highlighted the issue of food waste, identified by the UN as one of the great challenges to achieving food security.
Estimates suggest that by 2050 food production will need to have increased by 60% on 2005 levels to feed a growing global population. Reducing food wastage would ease the burden on resources as the world attempts to meet future demand.
The problem is global but manifests itself in starkly different ways. In developing countries there are high levels of what is known as “food loss”, which is unintentional wastage, often due to poor equipment, transportation and infrastructure. In wealthy countries, there are low levels of unintentional losses but high levels of “food waste”, which involves food being thrown away by consumers because they have purchased too much, or by retailers who reject food because of exacting aesthetic standards. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE