Food Waste

Food Loss: usually refers to food lost in the early stages of production (harvest, storage, transport)

Food Waste: usually refers to food fit for human consumption discarded by groceries or consumers.

We Waste 1/3 of the World’s Total Food Supply

What does this account for?

  • 3.3 Billion tonnes of greenhouse gases (CO2 emissions)
  • 1.4 billion hectares of land (28 percent of the world’s agricultural area) – slightly under the area of Russia
  • 3.3 Billion tonnes of greenhouse gases (CO2 emissions)
  • Home composting can potentially divert up to 150 kg of food waste per household per year from local collection authorities
  • The direct economic consequences of food wastage (excluding fish and seafood) run to the tune of $750 billion annually

Estimated Food Waste Globally:

What Can We Do to Help?

  • Plan Ahead: check produce in your fridge, freezer and pantry; prioritize food with low shelf lives, stock up on frozen produce to avoid perishing; use the first in first out method
  • Keep Food Fresh: Store herbs in mint/oil, fruits & veggies that produce ethylene in low humidity, veggies that wilt in high humidity; freeze veggies close to wilting
  • Use All Produce: use overripe produce in baked goods, smoothies, grilled dishes, etc; use every edible part of produce (a lot of inedible produce can be used in broths and stocks)

Organizations to Support:
Last Minute Market
Culinary Misfits
DC Central Kitchen
Food Recovery Network
Food Waste Alliance
EU Fusions
Love Food Hate Waste
Society of St. Andrew
412 Food Rescue
Amp Your Good
Boston Area Gleaners
Boulder Food Rescue
Centre for a Livable Future
City Harvest
Extra Food
Food Cycle
Food Forward
Food Policy Action

Verma MvdB, de Vreede L, Achterbosch T, Rutten MM (2020) Consumers discard a lot more food than widely believed: Estimates of global food waste using an energy gap approach and affluence elasticity of food waste. PLoS ONE 15(2): e0228369.

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