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Think, Eat, Save

By | May 2013
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“In a world of seven billion people, set to grow to nine billion by 2050, wasting food makes no sense – economically, environmentally and ethically.” - UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner Food waste is a serious and often discussed problem in food and nutrition security.  From produce loss due to poor post-harvest handling practices to the food that goes bad in your fridge before you can eat it, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) found thatan estimated one-third of all food produced gets lost or wasted.  The total cost to the food system is around $1 trillion in lost food, not to mention the added burden of greater food and nutrition insecurity. We know that by 2050, we will need to double the amount of available food by 2050 to meet the consumption needs of the projected 9 billion people on the planet.  Shouldn't the necessary first step be to reduce the amounts of waste within the food system? Recently, the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) and the FAO launched the Think.Eat.Save: Reduce Your Foodprint campaign to educate consumers, producers and retailers on food waste and encourage them to reduce food waste in the system.   There is a stark contrast between developed and developing nations for when most food loss occurs.  In developing countries, 95% of food loss comes from logistical, managerial and infrastructure challenges for the early stages of the chain from production to market.  For developed countries, however, the story is slightly different. "In industrialized regions, almost half of the total food squandered, around 300 million tonnes annually, occurs because producers, retailers and consumers discard food that is still fit for consumption. This is more than the total net food production of Sub-Saharan Africa, and would be sufficient to feed the estimated 870 million people hungry in the world,” stated Jose Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the FAO. One particularly interesting...
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