A new international United Nations report by 107 scientists demonstrates how we need more joined up thinking about food waste.
Tackle food waste – which accounts for up to 10% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions – and simultaneously tackle obesity and overeating by 2 billion of the world’s population – and you positively impact hunger, famine, global warming, and poor health.
This UN report also points to other environmental benefits which come from changing patterns of food consumption, including the degradation of soil and deforestation. The report is full of important warnings but offers solutions too.
I was particularly struck that up to 30% of food produced globally is currently wasted – having a value of around £20 billion annually. It costs an average of £500 each year for every UK household.
Better packaging and storage could help but, above all, starting in our homes, families, schools and colleges, we need to rethink our attitude to over consumption and waste. The charities, WRAP and IGD, have produced the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, should get us all thinking harder about what e can do – and in November there will be a “Food Conversation” to think through the collective and personal changes we need to make.
There’s more than enough in the world for everyone’s needs but not enough if we fail to tame our greed.
The food waste epidemic is an ethical and economic outrage. It has been calculated that if the world’s food waste mountain was piled up it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gasses – only after the USA and China.
It’s a scandal of epic proportions that a throw away culture can trash nearly a third of all food produced while nearly 800 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life – around one in nine people on earth