Skip to comments.Guest Post: Almost Half Of All Food Produced Is Thrown Away
Posted on 01/12/2013 6:40:16 AM PST by Perdogg
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.
Not in my house it isn’t.
I grew up poor.
Chickens in the back yard....
For example: A man at the store where I work came to customer service with a container of butter because he was supposed to get margarine. I wanted to say "Really! You can't just keep it and go get your margarine!"...
I was required to say "Sure! No problem" and then throw the butter in the bin for disposal.
Shoppers don't realize that when they return food, most of it must be thrown away.
If you don't want to be wasteful, live with your mistake.
My Mom would be very angry.
I think I've mentioned the "Dirty Jobs" epi that showed an enterprising hog/pig farmer outside of Las Vegas that re-purposes discarded buffet food into slop for his parcels of hogs and droves of pigs.
A big part of the problem is government regulations that cause grocery stores to dispose of any food items that reach their expiration date. I have friends who work in the meat department of a local large grocery who bring home steaks and other fine cuts of meat paying just a fraction of the sticker price simply because the meat had reached its expiration date and was unsold. There is nothing wrong with this meat and it is perfectly edible if it us cooked promptly or frozen for later consumption. Fortunately many grocery stores will donate these products to local homeless shelters.
The solution for some of this is grocery stores no longer demanding “perfect” produce.
Part of it is improving the flow of produce and product, so that what would otherwise be thrown away makes it to food banks or pig farms.
Its amazing how many people think the “sell by” date is an end all date when the product is suddenly no good so they throw it away.
The Vegetable farm down the road from me knows I’ll buy lots of things they don’t sell in the stand. I have no problem parking next to their hog pen going through the under ripe and over ripe to find what’s salvageable and tossing the rest to the pigs. If I don’t get it for free they sell it to me at a major discount. This fall I got 8 bushels of tomatoes for canning for the price of one and they gave me 4 bushels of bell peppers. Of those 12 bushels I salvaged all but about 1.
Unfortunately some cities have outlawed donating out of date food or leftovers from resteraunts to homeless shelters or even people on the street.
Food is wasted? My God, how much water that could be used is wasted by allowing it to flow to the sea?
Productive people have more than enough food (that is a good thing). That food is no all consumed is not a problem, except as a matter of economy for those chucking buying it and chucking it out. If I consume 100% of the food I buy, the “unwasted” food will not magically find its way to the table of an unproductive person.
Food that is removed from the shelves of a grocery store due to sell by dates is generally fed to hogs, not wasted. And I’d think the Left would be OK with recycling food back into dirt, from which more food can be grown.
The underlying premise is that some people go hungry, because others waste food. This is never the case.
Probably true in WELFARE homes where there is abundance and FREE stuff.
And what do the stores do with it when their customers don’t buy it?
I think I may have eaten there...
President 0Bama will write an Executive Order that compels everyone to eat their peas and all left overs. Problem solved. Dictators can solve any problem with the stroke of a pen.
And you survived the experience!
The funny thing is that it is impossible to waste water.
The earth has had the same amount of water on it for thousands of years.
The only way to waste water would be to launch it out into space.
You can have more or less drinkable water at certain locations.
But you cant practically waste water in general.
I wonder what this statement means ... a billion people never eat ?
Another point is that it is not smart to grow food on an “just in time” item. If you plan on shelving just enough food, then any drought or crop failure will equal productive people starving, let’s not return to those dark days of history.
Can't have some homeless beggar on the street getting a tummy ache from free food.
Well in that area of thinking Food is the same. It all gets recycled and energy is transferred (in one form or another) in the process.
Then they lack imagination.
I knew a gentleman who owned an apple orchard. He sold the perfect apples to the stores and the imperfect went to make everything from applesauce to apple juice. Not a single apple went to waste, even the half rotten, worm eaten ones went to the pig farmer.
This food could be used to save lives. Throwing it away costs lives.
The old woman was griping to her husband (very loudly) about the marks and dents in the tomatoes when I said, "Shame on you. People in the Soviet Union would gladly accept these tomatoes at twice the price".
The old woman actually agreed. This was in the 80's.