Almost Half of World's Food Thrown Away, Report Says

Out of all the food produced in the world, we waste somewhere between 30 to 50 percent


Looks like our obsession with pretty strawberries might be a bigger problem than expected; a new report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers found that of the 4.4 billion tons of food the world produces each year, somewhere between 30 percent and 50 percent gets lost before reaching a human mouth.

The report, titled "Global Food; Waste Not, Want Not," says that in the U.K. alone, 30 percent of vegetable crops are thrown away because they're not up to consumers' physical standards.

In Europe and the U.S., about half of purchased food gets thrown away after being bought.

This amount of waste is shocking not only in light of the world's growing population (the UN estimates that by 2075, the world's population will increase by 3 billion), but also in terms of the amount of water wasted. According to the report, we waste about 145 trillion gallons of water on crops that never reach a consumer.

"The amount of food wasted and lost around the world is staggering. This is food that could be used to feed the world's growing population — as well as those in hunger today. It is also an unnecessary waste of the land, water, and energy resources that were used in the production, processing, and distribution of this food," Dr. Tim Fox of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said.

The report suggests that governments in developed nations start implementing policies to discourage retailers from rejecting food based on appearance, and start investing in engineering programs to improve food production processes.


Be a Part of the Conversation

Have something to say?
Add a comment (or see what others think).

Comments 2
3.939395
Ratings66


Like this story? Get updates by email, facebook and twitter
Get daily food and wine coverage


Latest from The Daily Meal

The Daily Meal Video Network
Eat Like NBA Star Tim Duncan

2 Comments

Mary Faenza's picture

Included in this disgrace, are Cruise Ships, casinos, etc. Americans are a spoiled lot and the wealthy are the worst. We were raised to eat left overs, and we did a lot of cooking-never mind the classy restaurants etc. I've seen incredible waste among the wee to do, it's disgusting and believe me, it can't last. There is a higher power who expects us to share with the less fortunate among us and the world. Mary

babel13's picture

THE FOOD WASTED IN ONE GROWING SEASON COULD FEED THE ENTIRE WORLD ALL YEAR!!!
BUT LOGISTICS PREVENT TIMELY DELIVERY TO THOSE IN NEED.
WHY NOT TURN THE WASTE INTO FUEL???
WHY NOT USE IT TO FEED PROTEIN YIELDING LIVESTOCK, SUCH AS CATTLE, PORK ETC???

Add a Comment

Upload a picture of yourself no larger than 3MB, please see Terms for details
CAPTCHA
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
CAPTCHA
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human