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Food waste or food loss is food that is discarded, lost, or uneaten. Roughly one third of the food production is lost or wasted; that’s 1.3 billion tons each year. The amount of food wasted by consumers in industrialized countries is almost equal to the net amount production in the whole of the sub-Saharan Africa, says FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).
Meanwhile, one in every seven people is going to bed hungry.
“All of us must make changes at every link of the human food chain to prevent food wastage from happening in the first place, and re-use or recycle it when we can’t. We simply cannot allow one-third of all the food we produce to go to waste or be lost because of inappropriate practices, when 870 million people go hungry every day,” said FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva.
A UN report says that global food wastage is not only causing economy losses but also wreaking significant harm on natural resources. The amount of food we throw away is a waste of resources that had gone into the food production. This all goes to waste when we throw away perfectly good food. Food waste decomposition in landfills also significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, making important aspect of climate change.
At the consumer level, insufficient purchase planning and expiring ‘best-before-dates’ or ‘use-by dates’ also cause large amount of waste.
You are not alone and small actions of each one of us have a big impact. Plan meals, use shopping lists and avoid impulse buys. Eat food that is already in you fridge before buying more or making something new. Follow storage guidance to keep food at its best. Request for smaller portions in restaurants. Use ‘First in First Out’ as a kitchen rule. Non-perishable and unspoiled food can be donated to local food banks.