An occidental problem
In 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations published some numbers about food waste. Each year, 1.3 billion tonnes of food are produced and not consumed. The situation mainly happens in the industrialized countries.
Three causes exist. A big part of food products never reach the consumers. Bad harvests are not sold to the food industry and this industry, after their purchases, throws away the raw material for esthetical reasons.
Secondly, domestic households buy a lot of things in the supermarkets. For example, many vegetables are bought because we want to go on a diet, and when the dinner is coming, the starving guides us towards junk foods or quick cooking. Expiration dates give by food industry are too short, but they are decided by the law. However, all the professionals confirm that it’s just an indication and many products can be eaten few days after this date.
The hotels and restaurants are also concerned. Between clients who don’t eat all the food in their plates and cooks who order too much to prevent an excessive consumption, the waste is frequent.
Which are the other implications?
Food waste has many bad effects on the world. It’s not only a problem of throwing food when people are still dying of malnutrition in many countries. The production of this quantity of food requires a lot of energy. In order to function, food production chain uses fuel, materials as plastic or aluminium… The FAO says that 3.3 billion tonnes of CO2 (carbon dioxide) are emitted in production which will be thrown away.
Obviously, the waste has a huge impact on the economy. Companies lose a lot of money for nothing. It’s a shortcut to think that the situation is necessary and avoid the unemployment to grow up. Instead of being used for a useless production, this money could be invested in other domains. The investments would create new needs and more people would be hired in research and innovation departments.
Too know more about food waste
Food waste is a major topic. With the risks of overcrowding in the next decades, the resolution of this problem is certainly the only solution. The United National Secretary General, the Korean Ban Ki-Moon announces several actions in order to fight the food waste. The action is called the “Zero Hunger” Challenge. Many scientists are working on the situation.