About one third of all food produced today—some 1.7 billion tonnes—is lost or wasted along the value chain.
In developing countries, this occurs mainly in the postharvest phase due to lack of adequate infrastructure. In developed countries, wastage occurs mainly at the retail and consumption levels due to constraining regulations and unsustainable consumption patterns. (Gustavsson et al.2011)
These staggering stats were given at the CFS44 side event, “Full-cost accounting for sustainable food and nutrition security”. Aside from the immense quantities of food this represents, can you image how much money is wasted?
Considering high food prices, we often think of the high production costs or distribution costs, while we often ignore the cost of food waste. Food waste losses are not only losses of the initial investment (seed, water, fertilizer etc) in the production, but also include a cost in disposing of that wasted food. On top of this, food waste also has a significant environmental impact: Natural resources such as water, forest, land and fuel are used in both the production and disposal of food that is not consumed. Some of these processes emit greenhouse gases during both pre- and post-production of food.
Read the full post on the CFS blog here.
This blogpost covers the CFS44 side event “Full-cost accounting for sustainable food and nutrition security”
Blogpost by Audra Francis, #CFS44 Social Reporter – theaudraleah(at)gmail.com
Photo Credit: Pete on Flickr
This post is part of the live coverage during the 44th Session of the Committee on World Food Security, a social media project supported by GFAR. This post is written by one of our social reporters, and represents the author’s views only.