food waste

Topics: Ban Ki-moon, United Nations, Democratic Republic of the Congo Pages: 2 (333 words) Published: September 24, 2013
Stop Wasting Food

Remember what our grandmas always used to tell us: Do not waste food; think of all the hungry children in Africa.

At my recent TEDx talk, I mentioned that global food waste could feed every starving child, man and woman on this planet – three times over in fact! Here is some food for thought:

A global shame
Globally, human beings produce enough food waste to feed 3 billion people: over 30% of the world's food supply is wasted. The annual food waste in Italy could feed 44 million people – all of Ethiopia's undernourished population. The annual food waste in France is enough to feed the entire population of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Just five per cent of United States' food waste could feed 4 million people for one day.

In 2011, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon noted that there is enough food in the world, yet millions are still starving – and unless we take action, it will devastate our planet.

"Everybody is waiting for somebody else
to take action."

Who could possibly disagree: food waste is a global shame, especially in a world in which over a billion people are starving. And yet: everybody is waiting for somebody else to take action.

Can we send our leftovers to starving children in Africa? No, that is clearly not a permanent or sustainable solution. The problem in Africa is food loss. The amount of food lost per year in sub-Saharan Africa could feed 48 million people. Due to poor harvesting facilities, storage, packaging, distribution and the lack of a stable infrastructure, good food is lost in the fields before it even has a chance to reach peoples' bellies.

Food loss and food waste
In the West we waste approximately 40% of our food. This 40% happens at the end of the food value chain – by retailers and consumers. The same percentage of food, 40%, is lost in developing countries, though here the food losses happen at the beginning of the value chain. If we look at global food wasters,......
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