According to the report from the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, the total annual waste accounts for one third of all food produced for human consumption.
At the same time, experts say billions of people worldwide continue to have poor or inadequate diets.
Food is often thrown away by retailers for aesthetic reasons, the report points out.
And, perishable items frequently spoil during transportation, storage, and refrigeration.
Both retailers and consumers are guilty of buying more than they need, particularly in high income areas.
‘Consumer waste in high-income countries is typically linked to purchasing and storage of large quantities of food at the household level, inefficient meal planning and preparation, and post-meal disposal of non-consumed portions,’ the report says.
The study found that more than half of all fruits and vegetables produced every year are wasted, while 25 percent of meat (or 75 million cows) never makes it to the table.
The wasted items also include high-nutrient foods such as seeds, nuts, dairy products, and seafood.
Experts say reducing food waste is a critical step in ensuring people have access to the nutrients they need.
‘To tackle all forms of malnutrition and promote healthy diets, we need to put in place food systems that increase the availability, affordability, and consumption of fresh, nutrient-rich food for everyone,’ says panel member and FAO Director-General of FAO, José Graziano da Silva.
WHAT FACTORS WILL CHANGE WHAT FOOD WE BUY BY 2030?
A recent survey asked 2,000 adults to consider which issues would determine the way they bought food by the year 2030.
Below are the issues participants were asked about and the number who believed they would become key factors for shoppers.
Reducing packaging and using more recyclable materials: 62 per cent
The price of food: 57 per cent
Food waste (i.e. the amount of food that gets thrown away): 48 per cent
Tackling obesity: 41 per cent
The nutritional value of food: 38 per cent
Where food comes from (e.g. where it is grown, fished, reared etc.): 36 per cent
A greater focus on fresh food: 36 per cent
Supporting local farmers/ producers: 34 per cent
That the food is ethically sourced/ has an ethical supply chain: 32 per cent
Scarcity of certain foods: 32 per cent
The convenience: 31 per cent
Greater interest in food as an intrinsic part of health and wellbeing: 30 per cent
The amount of energy used in food production: 24 per cent
Shopping for meals not just ingredients: 15 per cent
Not eating meat: 14 per cent
People no longer having a family meal together: 14 per cent
Taking specific actions to reduce the losses and waste of fresh and nutritious food is a fundamental part of this effort.’
The brief lays out several policy actions that could help to mitigate the problem, including educating stakeholders, focusing on perishable foods, and improving infrastructure.
The researchers also say encouraging innovation will help, along with better informing consumers and retailers of the losses and waste.
30 thoughts on “One Third Of All Food Produced Worldwide Is Thrown Out Before It Hits Consumers’ Plates, Study Finds”
very apt. and educative, productive as well. practical application of the idea should come to book we hope. good Job dear!