Currently showing: Food security > Food waste

14 May 13 13:06

We have to stop wasting food. Just recently, the UK's Institution of Mechanical Engineers issued statistics showing that every year around 2 billion tonnes of food never reach human stomachs and are simply thrown away.

This figure represents almost half of all the food produced per annum. Various reasons are cited for this wastage, ranging from poor harvesting methods, lack of storage facilities and the modern consumer culture.

So wouldn't this be a smarter, more sustainable way of boosting global food security, rather than merely driving up agricultural production?

Global food - Waste not, want not | Institution of Mechanical Engineers

New global food report highlighting losses of over one billion tonnes of food each year.

Category: Food security: Food waste


Alicia Montoya - 15 May 2013, 1:40 p.m.

I'm shocked. I always knew the figures were bad but half of what we produce goes to waste?? Combine that with the number of starving people in the world (870 million people, according to the latest stats from the World Food Programme) and what we get is a clear distribution problem.

I had not realized but that means one in eight people do not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life. Hunger and malnutrition are in fact the number one risk to the health worldwide — greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined! Key causes of hunger include natural disasters, conflict, poverty, poor agricultural infrastructure and over-exploitation of the environment. Check out more hunger stats, an interactive hunger map and more on:

So my question is: What can I, as a citizen of a wealthy country, do to help? Apart from buy responsibly and consume what I buy, which I already do, of course :)

Patrick Reichenmiller - 21 May 2013, 10:25 a.m.

Hi Alicia, yes it sure is shocking, especially when you think on average each of us throws out about 120 kg of food in a single year! It's hard to imagine what an individual citizen can effectively do to wipe out world hunger, but there are LOTS of things each of us can do to help reduce food waste, beginning with our shopping habits and using up what we buy. Here's a website with lots of interesting tips and "food for thought" (pun intentional ;-)). Have a look:

Sarah Davies De Paola - 21 May 2013, 10:47 a.m.

There's an article on the BBC website today about food swap networks. The idea is to reduce waste, save money and bring communities together by swapping extra food you have produced/grown/foraged. The article has tips on how to get involved:

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