Roughly 1/3 of all food produced in the world goes to waste. According to the United Nations, that’s enough to feed two billion people and causes financial losses of approximate $750 billion.
- The carbon footprint of food wastage is estimated to be over 3 billion tonnes of CO2
- 1.4 billion hectares of land (28% of the worlds agricultural area) is used to produce food that is lost or wasted
- Agriculture is responsible for decreasing the habitat and biodiversity in wildlife, causing threats to at-risk species
- Most food waste is not composted, and ends up in municipal land fills
Food is wasted throughout the supply chain. In the fields, produce that is not aesthetically pleasing is left unpicked. Perishable food is also damaged and wasted during storage and transportation. In grocery stores, produce is further culled for looks, and blemished yet edible food is discarded. In our homes, we often discard leftovers and throw out expired food. Unfortunate but true, organic food often expires before its conventional counterparts.
Global Waste Stats – % of Total Production Wasted Throughout The Supply Chain:
- 30% of grains
- 45% of fruits and vegetables
- 35% of harvested fish and seafood
- 20% of meat
- 20% of dairy products
6 Ways You Can Reduce Food Waste
Shop Smart – plan your meals, make a list, and shop for just what you need
- Serve smaller portions – it is better to go back for seconds, than scrape unfinished food from your plate into the garbage
- Eat leftovers
- Store food appropriately. For example, bananas turn brown in the fridge and are best left on counter. Knowing the best way to store your food will prevent waste and save you money over time
- Stay organized: by keeping less, and keeping it organized, you’ll know what’s in the cupboard.
- Re-org the fridge: When you shop, move older things to front of fridge so they are next to be eaten.
For further information check out TED Talks on Global Food Wastage.