Guest Post: Almost Half Of All Food Produced Is Thrown Away

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Submitted by Charles Kennedy of OilPrice.com

Almost Half Of All Food Produced Is Thrown Away

Between 30 and 50 percent of all food produced globally, equivalent to two billion tons, is thrown away each year according to a recent report written by the UK-based Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME), titled ‘Global Food; Waste Not, Want Not’.

The Guardian states that overly-cautious sell by dates, buy one get one free deals, and an obsession with only consuming fruit and vegetables that look perfect are some of the main reasons for this colossal waste of, not only food, but also the water, energy, and arable land used in the creation of the food.

The two billion tons of food wasted each year use 550 billion cubic metres of water to produce, with meat requiring 20-50 times more water than vegetables. As the global population increases to nine and a half billion by 2075, will the lack of available water to produce enough meat lead the majority to become vegetarians?

The report found that in the US and parts of Europe nearly half of all food bought by consumers is thrown away; and that 30 percent of all crops grown in the UK are not even harvested because they do not meet the stringent cosmetic standards that are set by supermarkets and other food distributors around the world. These statistics are criminal considering the fact that in 2010 nearly one billion people across the world went without food.

In order to try and reduce the wastage seen across the food industry, the IME recommends better engineering, agricultural techniques, and infrastructure.