Food waste

In a recent research report published in Science magazine (July 18 2014: pages 325-328) entitled "Leverage points for improving global food security and the environment" West and colleagues find that "... a relatively small set of places and actions could provide enough new calories to meet the basic needs for more than 3 billion people, address many environmental impacts with global consequences, and focus food waste reduction on the commodities with the greatest impact on food security.">>

Worldwide, 4,600 kilocalories per person per day are produced, and yet only ~2,000 kilocalories per person (mean) are consumed on average. Data on food wastage, which until recently was grossly underestimated, has recently received support by several well-research and surveyed publications. For example, in the USA, a 2012 study indicated that 40 per cent of all food, worth >US$50bn is thrown away each year!
United States consumers waste 10 times more food per capita than those in Southeast Asia. In the United Kingdom, about two-thirds of household waste is due to food spoilage from not being used in time, whereas the other one-third is caused by people cooking or serving too much lack of awareness and undervaluing of foods. This trend is alarmingly connected with the consumer-hungry, inequality-rising modern economies. It was not like this in the not-so-distant past, where post second world war culture dictated a much more resource-conservative approach.

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