Sunday, April 10, 2011

How much food we throw away?

I recently read an article in the Economist claiming that about 30-50% of all food produced rots away uneaten, both in rich and poor countries. In poor countries this percentage is so high, because of post-harvest waste, due to ill treatment of mice, rats and other animals who eat the food on the farm or in the storage. There is also the problem with short existing foods that spoil during transportation.

In the rich countries, however, the situation is totally different. This staggering percent of food is lost because it is thrown away from restaurants and shops. As the article states, top of the list are bread, salads and fruits, which are foods that people are most likely to order and never eat. In America thrown food amounted for 43m tonnes in 1997 and in Britain - 4m in 2006 !

Population is growing and reading about food prices going up, while so much food is carelessly thrown away makes me angry at the spoiled habits people in countries like America and Britain have developed. Unfortunately, it will take years until these bad habits, a result of easy gains, disappear. Until them, the controversial current state of people dying of obesity in America and children dying of hunger in Africa will continue to widen the gap between the rich and the poor countries.

Read more on the topic and join in the Zero Waste Europe campaign here :

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