Tuesday, September 29, 2009

waste & want - 2

Following from the previous post and also from earlier ones , we read :-

THERE are 6.6 billion people in the world, of which 4 billion live in poverty or on the borderline. Close to a billion people are starving today. But the amount of food we produce could feed 12 billion people. In a world of plenty, a huge number go hungry. One of the major causes of hunger is poverty itself, people cannot afford to buy food and hence go hungry.

The Challenge of Hunger Report (2008) finds 33 countries with "alarming" and "extremely alarming" levels of hunger. Another 32 countries come in the bracket of a "serious" hunger situation. When over 9 million people die worldwide each year because of hunger and malnutrition some 1.2 billion, mostly in developed countries, suffer from obesity. Many countries are faced with food shortages and food riots, while other countries throw away food. Eliminating the wastage of the millions of tonnes of food that are thrown away annually in the US and UK alone could lift more than a billion people out of hunger.

In the UK, 6.7 million tonnes of wasted food amounts to £10.2 billion each year. WRAP in UK estimated that the Britons toss away a third of the food they purchase, adding up to 4.4 million apples, 1.6 million bananas, 1.3 million yoghurt pots, 660,000 eggs, 440,000 ready meals, 1.2 million sausages and 2.8 million tomatoes.

Official surveys indicate that every year more than 350 billion pounds (lbs) of edible food are available for human consumption in the United States. Of that total, nearly 100 billion pounds are lost by retailers, restaurants and consumers. 35.9 million people live below the poverty line in America .

In Sweden, families with small children throw out about a quarter of the food they buy, a recent study found.

In India , an estimate from the ministry of food processing says that 580 billion Rupees worth of agriculture food items get wasted in India every year, resulting in artificial demand, price hike and food shortage. 200 million people in India suffer from malnutrition yet India supplies 80% of Switzerland's wheat . Food stocks are piling up in India, and yet the country is home to a fourth of the world's poor and hungry.

In a globalised food system, where we are all buying food at the same international market place, that means some nations are taking food out of the mouths of the poor.

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