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Global Food: Waste Not, Want Not

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

A new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has found that between 30% and 50% of all food produced around the world never reaches a human stomach due to issues as varied as inadequate infrastructure and storage facilities through to overly strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one free offers and consumers demanding cosmetically perfect food.

The report Global Food; Waste Not, Want Not also found that:

  • as much as 30% of UK vegetable crops are not harvested due to them failing to meet exacting standards based on their physical appearance, while up to half of the food that’s bought in Europe and the USA is thrown away by the consumer;
  • about 550 billion m³ of water is wasted globally in growing crops that never reach the consumer;
  • it takes 20-50 times the amount of water to produce 1 kilogram of meat than 1 kilogram of vegetables;
  • the demand for water in food production could reach 10–13 trillion m³ a year by 2050. This is 2.5 to 3.5 times greater than the total human use of fresh water today and could lead to more dangerous water shortages around the world;
  • there is the potential to provide 60-100% more food by eliminating losses and waste while at the same time freeing up land, energy and water resources.

The full report is available here. Britain’s biggest supermarkets have been defending their practices after the report. The British Retail Consortium said that supermarkets have adopted a range of approaches to combat waste. More information is available here: BBC News UK




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