The current loss and waste of one-third of all food produced for human consumption would be just enough to feed the nearly one billion people who go to bed hungry every single night.
Wholesome food that could have helped feed families in need is sent to landfills.
The land, water, labor, energy and other inputs used in producing, processing, transporting, preparing, storing, and disposing of discarded food are pulled away from uses that may have been more beneficial to society – and generate impacts on the environment that may endanger the long-run health of the planet.
Food waste, which is the single largest component going into municipal landfills, quickly generates methane, helping to make landfills the third largest source of methane in the United States.
As much as 1.3 billion tons per year of food is lost or wasted throughout the supply chain, from initial agricultural production down to final household consumption, according to the UN.
Moreover, it is not just about losing or wasting food—it also implies a waste of resources used in production such as land, water, energy and inputs, increasing the greenhouse gas emissions.
“Up to one third of all food is spoiled or squandered before it is consumed by people. It is an excess in an age where almost a billion people go hungry,” adds the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
In the case of the European Union member countries 70 per cent of food waste arises in the household, food service and retail sectors, with production and processing sectors contributing the remaining 30 per cent.
Meanwhile, in the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30-40 per cent of the food supply.