What is it? Around the world, 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year. That's approximately one third of all the food produced! So? What's the problem with that? It's actually doing more damage than you may expect. Resources lost (forests, water, biodiversity, money, land, energy), pollutants increased, green house gasses emitted. All that food down the drain, while we have a world full of starving people. The urgency increases every second.
Food Waste You know that guilty feeling you get when you don’t finish your dinner and throw away the rest, or leave something in your fridge too long because you kept procrastinating eating it? Well all of that is food waste, and it’s killing our Earth. Food waste is when perfectly edible food is squandered in different ways after consumer buys it, although it happens in the form of market rejections too. For example, when sustenance is stored improperly or for too long, or too much food is served and there are leftovers that don’t get saved, or shoppers don’t properly plan their shopping and over buy, it can happen in many ways.
On the other hand, there is food loss. Food loss carries a lot of the overall wastage, differing on where you are in the world (North America has more food waste then food loss while Sub-Saharan Africa has mostly food loss and a small amount of food waste. It depends on the circumstances the region is in economically and financially.) There is a difference between food waste and loss; food loss happens on the production, and handling and storage/retailing parts of the spectrum, and is before the consumers bring home the dinner. Food loss happens mostly from post-harvest losses, which is losses of produce that happens after harvest from different reasons such as damaged goods due to transportation, storage, or handling. It also is just from natural means, such as animals or insects getting to it first or the produce rotting or going off. Apart from post-harvest losses, food waste happens in forms of market rejections and cosmetic expectations. Market rejections is when produce is rejected for different reasons and is commonly produced from more developed countries like the U.K. and happens less developed countries like Kenya. Cosmetic Expectations are standards set for produce to look to an extent of perfection with none or few flaws. Sometimes market rejections happen because of cosmetic expectations and sometimes they happen because of the changing market, such as last minute cancellations, or due to different circumstances the market demands different things.
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