Food, Waste Not Want Not

We all want the our food to be perfect looking food but with a variety of issues that cause many food items not to reach our tables for instance bad storage facilities, strict sell by dates or strict best before dates or just simple buy one get one free, only 50% of food produced gets to our tables.

UN predictions, that by 2075, there could be an extra 3 billion people to feed in the world totalling approx 9.5 billion people.  With increasing pressure on resources to produce food, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers is calling for urgent action.  The world produces about 4 billion metric tonnes of food per year, but wastes up to half.  By improving processes and infrastructure as well as changing consumer mindsets we would have the ability to provide 60% – 100% more food to feed the worlds growing population.

A report that has been produced by Global Food Waste Not Want Not has found that –

  • Between 305 – 50% or 1.2 – 2billion tones of food produced around the world each year never reach a human stomach
  • As much as 30% of UK vegetable crops are not harvested due to them failing to meet standards based on their physical appearance.  Whilst up to half of the food that are bought in Europe and the USA is thrown away by the consumer.
  • About 550 billion m3 of water is wasted globally in growing crops
  • It takes 20 – 50 times the amount of water to produce 1 kilogram of meat than 1 kilogram of vegetables
  • The demand for water in food production could reach 10 – 13 trillion m3 a year by 2050. This is 2.5 to 3.5 times greater than the total human use of fresh water today and could lead to more dangerous water shortages around the world
  • There is the potential to provide 60% – 100% more food by eliminating losses and waste while at the same time freeing up land, energy and water resources.

Dr Tim Fox, Head of Energy and Environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said: “The amount of food wasted and lost around the world is staggering. This is food that could be used to feed the world’s growing population – as well as those in hunger today. It is also an unnecessary waste of the land, water and energy resources that were used in the production, processing and distribution of this food.

Do you own a convenience store, small village shop or are you a manager of a chain of shops.  How much food do you have to destroy due to being out of date?  With the increase in our shopping bills food items are becoming more and more expensive.  Tell us what you think of the increasing price of food.