Global food waste at billion tonnesGlobal food waste at billion tonnes

Virendra Singh Rawat

The global food waste, according to an estimate by the United Nations (UN), has been pegged at nearly a billion tonnes (BT) annually.

In this way, the world wasted roughly 19 percent of the total food produced in 2022.

These statistics have been published in the Food Waste Index Report of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which tracks the progress of countries to halve food waste by 2030.

According to the UN, the number of countries reporting for the index doubled from the first report in 2021.

The UN report was co-authored by UNEP and Waste and Resources Action Programme, which is an international charity.

Since, these estimates were arrived at on the basis of rather insignificant data, the projections do not reflect the actual sordid picture in this regard.

On the other hand, an estimated 783 million people today face chronic hunger globally especially in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

To arrive at food waste stats, the researchers analysed country data on households, food service and retailers.

They found that each person wastes about 79 kg of food annually, which is equal to at least a billion meals wasted globally daily.

Interestingly, most of the waste or 60 percent emerged from the households.

About 28 percent of waste came from food service or restaurants, while retailers accounted for almost 12 percent of the annual average waste.

Moreover, food waste is a global concern because of the environmental cost of production, including land and water required to raise crops and animals.

Besides, the greenhouse gas emissions it produces, including methane, has accounted for 30 percent of the global warming since pre-industrial times.

Food loss and waste generates 10 percent of global greenhouse emissions.

According to estimates, if it were a country, it would rank third after the US and China in terms of emissions.

Meanwhile, the UN report noted that food waste means that less food is available to the poorest population.

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