Half of the world’s food ‘is just thrown away’

As much as half of all the food produced in the world – equivalent to 2bn tonnes – ends up as waste every year, engineers warned in a report published on Thursday.

The UK’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) blames the “staggering” new figures in its analysis on unnecessarily strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one free and Western consumer demand for cosmetically perfect food, along with “poor engineering and agricultural practices”, inadequate infrastructure and poor storage facilities.

In the face of United Nations predictions that there could be about an extra 3 billion people to feed by the end of the century and growing pressure on the resources needed to produce food, including land, water and energy, the IMechE is calling for urgent action to tackle this waste.

Their report, Global Food; Waste Not, Want Not, found that between 30% and 50% or 1.2-2bn tonnes of food produced around the world never makes it on to a plate.

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One Response to Half of the world’s food ‘is just thrown away’

  1. Paul says:

    Looks like that doesn't include the stuff that never makes it to the stores (apples with bruises and the like). I saw a TED talk about this and it makes me think there is more than enough food for even people who are straving. We just need to figure out how to distribute it better.


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