PRODUCED BUT NEVER EATEN

Whether the wastage is measured in tonnes of spoiled goods, hectares of agricultural land or household expenditure, the scale is frightening.

How much food is wasted globally each year?

Each year 1.3 Billion tonnes of food, about a third of all that is produced, is wasted, including about 45% of all fruit and vegetables, 35% of fish and seafood, 30% of cereals, 20% of dairy products and 20% of meat.

What does this mean for agriculture?

About 1.4 Billion hectares, or close to 30% of available agricultural land, is used to grow or farm food that is subsequently wasted. This is particularly alarming given estimates that by 2050 food production will need to have increased by 60% on 2005 levels to feed a growing global population. Reducing food wastage would ease the burden on resources as the world attempts to meet future demand.

Where, how and when is most of the food wasted?

In developing countries there are high levels of what is known as “food loss”, which is unintentional wastage, often due to poor equipment, transportation and infrastructure. In wealthy countries, there are low levels of unintentional losses but high levels of “food waste”, which involves food being thrown away by consumers because they have purchased too much, or by retailers who reject food because of exacting aesthetic standards.

What type of foods do we waste most?

In Europe, average per country, 15 Million tonnes of food is lost or wasted each year and consumers throw away 4.2 Million tonnes of edible food each year. The foods most commonly found in bins are bread, vegetables, fruit and milk.

What does this mean for the average family?

The average family throws away more than 700€ worth of perfectly good food a year, or almost 60€ worth of food a month.

 

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