As Food Waste Increases Globally, Here Is What You Need To Know

Published on March 2, 2020

As time goes on and food waste increases globally, the amount of people actively trying to combat it remains as low as it ever has. Food waste isn’t just happening in one place; this it’s taking place globally. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, one third of the food produced for human consumption ends up going to waste.

According to a recent study, this is equivalent to each person on the planet, throwing away around 500 calories every day. It may seem like there is nothing we can do to prevent it or decrease the percentage, but there are multiple things we can do because this is also affecting us and the environment as well. Food waste has increased, and we need to do something about it. 

What is Food Waste, and How is It Caused? 

Food waste, or also known as food loss, is food that’s wasted, lost, or uneaten. Food waste isn’t just food that restaurants or grocery stores throw away; its much more significant than that, and its economic, environmental, and social costs that come along with food waste. Now the top question that is asked it how is food waste caused? Food waste can be caused by numerous things like 

  •  Lack of appropriate planning 
  • Purchase and preparation of too much food
  • Errors in industrial processing and keeping up with food safety policies
  • Managerial, financial and technical constraints
  • Over-merchandizing and over-ordering in food stores and supermarkets
  • Consumer behavior
Will Food Waste Continue to Increase?

According to recent studies, yes, food waste will continue to increase. Every year one-third of the food that is produced is wasted. In a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 1.6 billion tons of food worth around $1.2 trillion is lost or wasted, and they found out that this will only continue to get worse. By 2030, food waste will increase to 2.1 billion tons, worth around $1.5 trillion BCG estimated. Yes, those are some big numbers and serious calculations; it might be time to change up some things. 

How Can We Eliminate/Decrease Food Waste?

There are numerous things that anyone can do to prevent and eliminate food waste. We can avoid food waste anywhere from our homes, even to schools. Here are a few ways we can reduce food waste.

  • Shop smart and realistically
  • When cooking don’t overserve and cook too much 
  • Save and actually eat leftovers
  • Recycle your leftovers
  • Use your freezer 
  • Don’t rely on those “sell by” date labels on food 
  • Donate to food banks and farms
  • Store food in the right places
Can We Raise Awareness About Food Waste?

Yes, we can raise awareness about food waste. One of the many ways that we can raise awareness is to get educated on the subject. Many people don’t know about food waste or aren’t familiar with the issue and how it’s affecting us and the world. If we educate ourselves on food waste, then we can pass our knowledge down to others. There are organizations out there who are also trying to raise awareness and trying to make a difference on how food is food.

Here are some organizations:

Everyone must educate themselves on how food waste increases globally. It might not seem like it’s affecting you now or that you can’t do anything about it, but even doing the smallest things could make a difference and an impact when it comes to food waste. If you have some food leftover, preserve it, or also put it to use to feed the hungry. Food waste isn’t something that is just going to go away immediately; it takes to change and progress. Hopefully, everyone can come together and bring food waste to light and prevent the increase in food waste by 2030 or even 2021. 

Jori Ayers is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily based in Tampa, Florida. She was formerly with the editorial team at Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.

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