Can short food chains reduce food waste?
Date: 2013-05-10 10:39:22 User:
In a world where billions of people go hungry every day, the very idea that a good chunk of our global food production goes to waste sounds outrageous. But this is what happens. The problem is so serious that it has prompted the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to launch a campaign to get reduce food waste amongst consumers and retailers. Several organizations are supporting the Think.Eat.Save initiative, the theme of this yearís World Environment Day on June 05th, besides national governments and other agencies with experience in targeting wasteful practices.
Experts calculate that around 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year. That means that worldwide one third of all food produced, totaling around US$1 trillion, is going down the drain, or better, into the trash can, due to inefficient food production and consumption systems, according to data released by FAO.
Food is lost at the production stages and waste at the retailer and consumer end of the supply chain. Developed countries in Europe, Asia and Oceania waste more food per capita than consumers in sub-Saharan Africa, south and south-eastern Asia. The former throws away 95 and 115 kg of food per year while the latter wastes six to 11 kg in the same period.
Households can, for example, plan their weekly meals or learn how to cook and store leftovers. This means saving food and also saving money spent each week. Supermarkets, hotels and restaurants, up to companies, cities and countries can pledge to measure the food they waste and put in place targets to reduce it, improving their resource use and saving money in the process.
Will the promotion of short food chains help reduce food waste? Please share any thoughts or experiences you have on this subject.
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