[FOOD WASTE]“We are trashing our land to grow food that no one eats.” -Tristram Stuart
With millions of people all over the world struggling to find enough food to eat, the fact that millions of tons of food is tossed out every year can be surprising.
Food waste is a huge problem in developed countries and it is a serious economic and environmental issue.
The food waste from retailers and consumers in developed countries is more than enough to feed the worlds 870 food insecure people.
In terms of food, the wasteful behaviour of consumers and retailers results in enormous economic losses.
While food waste in developing countries stems from spoilage due to poor storage and infrastructure, food waste in the industrialised world is linked mostly to retail and consumer refuse.
Many cities subsidise local composters, and as food waste makes up on average 70-90% of household waste, turning it into nutrient-rich dirt and eliminating the need for transportation of garbage is a great first step.
UK households binned £13bn worth of food in 2015 that could have been eaten, according to new figures which suggest that progress in reducing the national food waste mountain has stalled.
Of the food thrown away, 4.4m tonnes was deemed to be “avoidable” waste that was edible at some point before it was put in the bin or food waste caddy – such as bread that goes mouldy – compared with 4.2m tonnes in 2012.
Between 2007 and 2012, the total amount of household food waste fell by 15%, and avoidable food waste dropped by 21%, thanks to rising food prices and changes to labelling to simplify use by date advice – alongside campaigning to raise awareness.
But we all have a role to play and despite a million-tonne fall in domestic food waste since 2007, there is clearly more we need to do.”
Despite concerted efforts to reduce food waste through the entire supply chain, a new national update from the waste and recycling advisory body Wrap revealed that an estimated 7.3m tonnes of household food waste was thrown away in 2015 – up from 7m tonnes in 2012.
“But it is incredibly challenging to reduce food waste, and the stalling of progress shows just how difficult it is.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation claims that “roughly one-third of the edible parts of food produced for human consumption, gets lost or wasted globally, which is about 1.3 billion ton per year.” (FAO 2011, Global Food Losses and Food Waste)
But the latest figures show the food industry has failed to meet a commitment to cut household food waste by 5% between 2012 and 2015.
We have a globalised food supply system, demand for food in the West can drive up the price of food grown for export in developing countries, as well as displace the growth of crops to feed native populations and drive accelerated degradation of natural habitats.
It takes a land mass larger than China to grow the food each year that is ultimately never eaten land that has been deforested, species that have been driven to extinction, indigenous populations that have been moved, soil that has been degraded all to produce food that we then just throw away.
Not only are all of the resources that went into creating the uneaten food wasted , but when food waste goes to landfill, which is where the vast majority of it ends up, it decomposes without access to oxygen and creates methane, which is 23x more deadly than carbon dioxide.
Every which way you look at it food waste is a major culprit in destroying our planet, and in fact if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the USA.
source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/10/uk-throwing-away-13bn-of-food-each-year-latest-figures-show- 2)https://olioex.com/food-waste/the-problem-of-food-waste/ 3).https://feedbackglobal.org/food-waste-scandal/accessed 29/07/18