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Manage Food Waste And Save Lives

Updated on February 20, 2013

World Food Waste

Latest reports suggest that the world now wastes an incredible 1.3 billion tonnes of food a year, and the cost of this waste according to estimates is around $1 trillion.This is the combined cost from consumption and production waste.

Other sources indicate that actually half of all the food produced in the world ends up being dumped, and that is nearly two billion tonnes of shocking waste that never ends up on the plates of the worlds undernourished people.

When There Was No Waste

I must not throw away on the floor
 The crust I cannot eat; 
For many hungry little ones 
Would think quite a treat.

Many people from an older generation may remember the beginning of this old verse, and today so much of our food is thrown away needlessly. Those of us who were brought up in times of war and recession could not afford to waste food.

After the Second World war basic foodstuffs were still rationed, as they were during the war. The people of that era appreciated the value and nutrition of food, mainly because they had to.

The 1970's brought us recession and the starving African Nation of Ethiopia was big news. Again our food was a valuable commodity.

Back then we cooked from scratch, using basic ingredients from the store cupboard.You used your imagination to cook something from the meagerest of ingredients.

For wilful waste makes woful want,
And I may live to say,
Oh!  how I wish I had the bread
That once I threw away. (1)


Food Waste Today

It seems we live in an ever increasing throw away society after the latest gadget or accessory has been pre-dated it is discarded in favour of the newer version.

There are so many types of food available today. We have fast food from many cultures and there are many choices from supermarkets with various ways to cook and prepare.

Food has become fashionable, and easy to cast off. Just as as the perfectly good pair of trainers that are no longer in vogue We have never had so many cookery programmes and recipe books available to us.Yet actual cooking and baking is at an all time low, as people prefer fast food and microwavable options.

These unhealthy portions and waste are also encouraged by some food programmes such as Man V Food.

The Starving World Today

According to 2012 statistics nearly 13 % of the world's population does not have enough food(this is actually an improvement from 20 years ago where it was at 18%).

Most of the hunger pains are in underdeveloped countries and parts of Asia, it is estimated that nearly 100 million children are seriously under weight with desperate under nourishment. This iscausing the deaths of 2.6 million children a year in the underdeveloped Nations.

Poverty is a strong cause of going hungry as over 40% of people in India live on less than $2 dollars a day.(2)

Managing Food Waste

As well as shortages of food due to crop failure from inclement weather, the price of food is rising world wide. Yet we still manage to waste 1.3 billion tonnes of tonnes of food.For the starving world it is not going to get any easier.

We as people can do our bit to make sure our expensive food is not wasted, unwanted food and tins can be donated to local food banks.

The worldwide problem of food waste surely must be tackled by Governments and the United Nations.

Better legislation is needed to stop the misleading sell by and best before dates( these are even on vacuum packed and pickles and preserves!!!!!) causing people to dump food unnecessarily.

Supermarkets can cut waste by realising that we don't have to have perfectly straight bananas and we don't mind knobbly potatoes or crooked carrots.

More efficient use of our energy and water resources are needed to make best use of land,as well as improved distribution and storage.Over production should be managed so it is not wasted and made sure it is distributed to those who are going hungry.

Not Just Food Waste?

These are difficult times for the whole of the world, we are responsible for our debts.

But how much money and resources are wasted by the more prosperous Western Nations. We need to stop the pointless wars, needless legislation's and giving aid to corrupt governments who fail to direct it to the populous who really need it.

Scientists already have the know how to increase the food production and reduce the waste.There is no reason the UN and the like cannot manage the waste problem more progressively and reduce a much more important problem.

Other Sources

(1) This is an old victorian poem, where the prose varies. Author unknown.



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    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 5 years ago

      really nice hub. I feel that managing food waste is great and can potentially help save people that aren't able to obtain the foods that we are able to get on a daily basis. thanks. voted up.