Home > Civil > One Third Of All Food Produced Worldwide Is Thrown Out Before It Hits Consumers’ Plates, Study Finds

One Third Of All Food Produced Worldwide Is Thrown Out Before It Hits Consumers’ Plates, Study Finds

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.

Billions of tons of food amounting to roughly $1 trillion goes to waste each year without ever reaching the consumer’s plate, a shocking new study has found. Produce that’s considered to be ‘ugly’ is often thrown away, while other items perish during storage and transport

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.

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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

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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.


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  14. very apt. and educative, productive as well. practical application of the idea should come to book we hope. good Job dear!



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