10 Jan 2013

Half of the world food is just thrown away

As much as half of all the food produced in the world - two billion tonnes worth - ends up being thrown away, a new report claims. The waste is caused by poor infrastructure and storage facilities, over-strict sell-by dates, "get-one-free" offers, and consumer fussiness, according to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

food waste

Each year countries around the world produce some four billion tonnes of food. But between 30% and 50% of this total, amounting to 1.2 to two billion tonnes, never gets eaten, says the report Global Food; Waste Not, Want Not (PDF).

In the UK, up to 30% of vegetable crops are not harvested because their physical appearance fails to meet the exacting demands of consumers. Half the food purchased in Europe and the US is thrown away after it is bought, the report adds.

More on The Independent