Waste Not,Want Not

Economically,food lost is investment wasted that can reduce farmers’ incomes and increase consumers’ expenses.

Published: October 6, 2013 12:18 am

*The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimates that 32 % of all food produced in the world was lost or wasted in 2009. When converted into calories,global food loss and waste amounts to 24% of all food produced

*Economically,food lost is investment wasted that can reduce farmers’ incomes and increase consumers’ expenses. It also means inefficiently used water and land,which can lead to diminished natural ecosystems

TYPES OF WASTAGE

Agricultural products

Losses due to mechanical damage and spillage during harvest operation (threshing or fruit picking)

Losses due to spillage and degradation during handling,storage and transportation

Losses during industrial or domestic processing during washing,peeling,slicing and boiling

Losses during distribution at wholesale markets,supermarkets,retailers and wet markets

Losses during consumption

Animal (meat) products

Losses during breeding due to death or disease

Death during transport. For fish and milk,spillage and degradation during packaging and transportation

For meat,losses due to trimming and industrial processing. For milk,pasteurization and processing

Losses and waste in the market system

Losses and waste at the household level

CANADA

* 640 kg wasted per person per year

* In Toronto,single-family households discard about 275 kilos of food waste each year

US

* 760 kg wasted per person per year. More than 36 million tonnes of food waste generated every year

* 40% of food in the US is never eaten,amounting to $165 billion a year in waste

* American families throw out approximately 25 per cent of food and beverages bought

UK

* 560 kg wasted per person per year

* Up to 40 per cent of fruit or vegetable crops never make it on to plates because they are ‘ugly’

*Shoppers are so unprepared to accept odd sizes,shapes or marks that farms use perfectly edible produce as animal feed

GERMANY

* 540 kg wasted per person per year.

* Over 11 million kg food thrown away per year

* 20 per cent of food waste came from grocery stores,17 per cent from restaurants and cafeterias

GHANA

*Ghana lost 50 per cent of its stored corn in 2008 because of poor storage facilities

PAKISTAN

* Three million tonnes grain destroyed in 2010-11

* In 2013,3,000 tonnes of grain destroyed on account of improper storage facility,lack of transportation

INDIA

* Wheat worth Rs 5 crore and rice worth Rs 40 crore lost a year

* 17,546 tonnes of food grain in warehouses owned by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) were

CHINA

* More than 25 million tonnes of grain,or 8 to 12% of the nation’s production,is lost every year

* 15 to 20 per cent of the country’s potatoes and fruit are lost due to improper storage

* Annual economic losses involving agricultural produce total more than 300 billion yuan

JAPAN

* 410 kg wasted per person per year

* Estimates range from 17 million to 23 million tonnes a year

*Tokyo alone wastes about 6,000 tonnes of food a day

MEASURES

* ‘Stop Wasting Food’ in Denmark promotes better household planning and shopping patterns to stop impulsive food shopping and consumption patterns

* In the UK,the Waste Reduction Action Plan (WRAP) encourages leading retailers,brand owners and their supply chains to identify collaborative approaches towards reducing food waste

* “Soko Bila Waste—Every little thing Counts” in Kenya sensitises vendors,consumers and farmers on the importance of reducing food wastage

EFFECTS OF WASTE

* Rotting food is a significant source of methane emissions,which contribute to global climate change

* According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),methane is one of the most environmentally harmful greenhouse gases—20 times more than carbon dioxide

damaged between 2009 and 2012

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