Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Capitalism - a wasteful system

The amount of food that is wasted each year will rise by a third by 2030, when 2.1bn tonnes will either be lost or thrown away, equivalent to 66 tonnes per second. 

Each year, 1.6bn tonnes of food worth approximately $1.2tn, goes to waste – about one third of the food produced globally.

The report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) warns that the global response to food waste is fragmented and inadequate, and that the problem is growing at an alarming rate. Unless urgent action is taken by governments, companies and consumers, the report warns there is little chance of meeting UN targets to halve food waste by 2030. Over this period, food loss and waste is projected to increase in most regions around the world, with a significant spike in Asia, according to the study. The report said companies have been slow to adopt digital tools that enable better matching of supply and demand.

“The scale of the problem is one that will continue to grow while we’re developing our solutions,” said Shalini Unnikrishnan, a partner and managing director at BCG. “As population grows rapidly in certain industrialising parts of the world, like in Asia, consumption is growing very rapidly...It’s not an easy problem, no single country, no single entity can solve the entire problem on their own.”
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that about 815 million of the 7.6 billion people in the world (10.7%), were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2016.
Food waste and loss accounts for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the FAO.
While in developing countries waste occurs during production processes, in wealthy countries waste is mostly driven by retailers and consumers, who throw away food because they have purchased too much or because it does not meet aesthetic standards. Many customers wrongly believe that meat and vegetables are always healthier when fresh than when frozen. “In fact, the opposite is often true: frozen food products frequently retain more nutrients than unfrozen items, which can degrade during the shipping process,” the report said. 

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