According to the results of the United Nations and UK WRAP surveys, foods that are not eaten by humans worldwide amounted to 10.3 billion tons per year in 2019. It accounts for 17% of the food in circulation and reaches 23 million food delivery trucks. If trucks loaded with food waste are lined up, it is the equivalent of turning the earth seven times.
Household waste is the most discarded. It accounts for nearly two-thirds of the total. The next most are food service industry 26%, supermarkets and retail stores 13%. For reference, 10.3 billion tons per year do not include waste from farms or factories. Including this, it means that one-third of all food, let alone 17%, is wasted.
In the United States, for example, 40% of all food is food waste. By weight, it is more than 165,000 tons per day, which means that the world’s largest football stadium is filled with food waste every day. However, 1 in 8 Americans can’t eat properly, and 820 million people worldwide suffer from malnutrition. One-third of all food is being thrown away, but it’s ironic to consider that there are 820 million people in the world who die from hunger.
When food is spoiled, it smells great, but methane gas comes out. The methane greenhouse effect is 28 times that of carbon dioxide, or 80 times. The impact on global warming is second only to carbon dioxide. If food waste is one country, greenhouse gas emissions are ranked third in the world after China and the United States. It is pointed out that food waste is a shackles for waste disposal and food stockpiling, and furthermore, it is also a major cause of the world’s three major crises: climate change, loss of diversity in natural ecosystems, and pollution treatment.
Food production requires land, water, fertilizer, fuel, and effort, and it consumes enormous amounts of energy for transportation, processing, refrigeration and freezing. One-third of the harvest should go directly to sewage or landfill without eating if it is irregular or too late. It can be convincing to say that reducing food waste is the fastest way to prevent warming.
The UN has set a goal of anti-disposal of food by 2030 and is calling for cooperation from each country. As a savings method, donate refrigerators to poor countries first. In India, 70% of all households without refrigerators are said to be caused by refrigeration paralysis, with an average of 23% of food waste in developing countries.
Second, reorganization of food waste. Like Vermont, Seattle, San Francisco, and other U.S. municipalities, food waste is converted from compost into fertilizer and reused in agriculture. It is estimated that this will reduce 9.5 million tonnes of food waste per year in the United States alone.
Third, the expiration date display was changed. For example, the Food and Drug Administration’s FDA instructed the food industry in 2019 to change the labeling of sell by and use before to best by. This is the reason that this is realistic because the taste deteriorates even after the deadline, but it is not something that should be eaten.
Fourth is the effort for cooking. Efforts can be made, such as boiling the leftover carrot stems or onion skins to make soup. Related information can be found here.