A new United Nations report has found that the world wastes some 1.3 billion tons of food a year, roughly one-third of the world's food supply.
"Food Wastage and Foodprint: Impacts on Natural Resources" might not be the first report to calculate how much food is tossed away, but it is the first to look at how global food waste effects the environment, from climate to water and land use to biodiversity.
The results? Not only does 1.3 billion tons of food down the trash cost the world some $750 billion, but it also adds 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases, uses up 28 percent of agricultural land, and wastes enough water that it's the "equivalent to the annual flow of Russia's Volga River." It doesn't help that "870 million people go hungry every day," director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization José Graziano da Silva said.
"Food wastage reduction would not only avoid pressure on scarce natural resources but also decrease the need to raise food production" as the world's population rises, the report says. And while plenty of the food waste does happen during the agricultural process, the UN does urge individual consumers to stop buying vegetables and leaving them to rot in the crisper.