With the world’s population projected to top 9 billion by 2050, we need to look at ways not only to increase food production, but to make better use of the food we produce by reducing loss and waste.
Around 1.3 billion tonnes of food – roughly one third of the food produced for human consumption every year - is lost or wasted, according to a study released last year by FAO and the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology. A recent report from the Natural Resources Defense Council puts food waste in the United States at 40 percent – more than 20 pounds of food per person every month going uneaten.
In developing countries, most food losses occur during post-harvest, processing, transportion and storage, while in industrialized countries food waste happens at the end of the chain, in retail and consumption, when food that is still perfectly edible is thrown away.
Reducing food waste and loss could increase food availability without increasing production and with less impact on the environment.
Agriculture is by far the biggest user of water resources – accounting for 70 percent of all water withdrawals worldwide. So it’s no surprise that global water experts convening the week in Stockholm for World Water Week called for prompt action to curb food waste worldwide.
Taste the Waste of Water, a new film launched today in Stockholm by German filmmaker Valentin Thurn, highlights the issue of food and water waste. Watch the trailer: