In recent years, food waste becoming a big issue across the world, especially in high-income countries. However, how the food waste become such a serious problem? The reason of it is not only because the better living standard but also due to the lack of awareness of food saving and the result that food waste will lead to, the insufficient understanding of the food waste or poverty current situation, etc. As a result, this blog will demonstrate more information about the food waste, understanding how does the enormous food waste influenced to society, and how can we reduce food waste. [image]
Each year, one-third of all the food around the world produces is lost or wasted not only means an economic loss, but also means that all of the natural resources used or growing, processing, packing, transporting and marketing were wasted. Imagine this large amount, 28% of the world agricultural land grows crops are wasted, which equals the total land area of China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan. [image]
- In 2013, 133 million pounds of food which worth $161 million were lost across the US, average American household spends approximately $2,000 a year on wasted food, equal to 141 trillion calories, which made America became ‘the world’s largest food waster’.
- Recent statistical results show that in the US, about 40% of all the food never gets eaten and wasted. It can happen in everywhere, from the food we have lost on the farm, or the way through to the potatoes left on your breakfast plate, food is either going to landfills or getting burned in an incinerator. [image]
Sources of food waste
Food wastage can be classified into food loss and food waste.
- There is a large number of food loss in the process of harvesting, transporting or storing before it was sold in market or cooked.
- After the food been sold, it was usually wasted in restaurants, markets, households, etc.
There is a waste in farm, in transit, in storage, in supermarkets and restaurants, in households, everywhere. According to the general statistics, 44% of food was wasted in residential, 33% in restaurants, 11% or more in supermarkets. In the meanwhile, the food that were wasted under a large amount are more likely be meat, fish, vegetables, fruits or dairy products, which are usually in a short recommended purchase period. [image]
Reasons of food waste
- In each area, the problem of food wasted usually because its high costing on transportation. Moreover, it is hard to keep the food cold and fresh for a long time. Lots of food, for example, vegetables, fruits or milk got deteriorated during transporting, while it cost a lot of money to transport. So, if you don’t have an immediate buyer for it, the easiest and most business responsible thing to do is to throw it away after it produced from farm.
- The waste in markets mainly because the date on the package is such that people think that it is no longer safe to consume. When people see these items in the grocery store, they wouldn’t purchase it because they think it is not safe. But actually it is the date that indicates quality not safety, the food which was thrown away were in a really good quality. (image)
- Another reason for food waste in farms or supermarkets is the size or surface of productions. People prefer a good-looking apple rather than an apple with blemish.
- The lack of thrift consciousness is most important thing that lead to food waste. The food that was wasted by households can be divided into two parts: cooked and raw. People’s requirements for balanced nutrition let them buy many kinds of food at one time, yet they cannot finish them within a short period of time. The surplus of food that is not cooked gradually deteriorate while the leftovers been throw into bins. The same waste also occurs in restaurants.
The influences on societies
Food losses and wastes have an impact on the food security of poor people, the food quality and safety directly acting on their health. In addition, it also have an impact on economic development and environmental governance.
For poor consumers, the priority is clearly to have access to food products that are affordable, safety and then nutritious. It is always more important for them to note that food can be afford than the food insecurity, so that health issue is easier to be leaded. Moreover, the quantity of food waste each year can effectively help many people out of hunger while the money that spent on these foods can be saved and have a better used. [image]
- Food waste can also lead to environment problem, the decay of food will release plenty of greenhouse gas.
- Carbon dioxide and methane are the huge climate change problem while methane form landfills are tremendous contributor to that method which is ten times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2.
- The enormous quantity of food that was buried underground will also do harm to the soil and pollute ground water. [image]
How can we reduce food waste?
Reducing food waste is a giant project to accomplish, thus, only by people around the world working together can achieve the goals.
- Governments and organizations should enhance food recycle system, effectively use the produced food. For example, the fresh vegetables and fruits that are about to expire but still in a good quality can be processed and frozen, then resale in a new pattern.
- The food that was abandoned by highly demanding people can be sold in a lower price to poverty or donate to poverty. At the same time, the food security need to be considered so that the food have enough nutrition to keep people in good health.
- Governments should increase education in improving people’s awareness of food saving and environmental protection, organizing more activities of field trip to increase the connection between suburbs and cities to let people experience and understand the hard-won of food.