Food wastage

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Written by Gary Gardner

A huge inefficiency in the global agricultural system--and therefore, a huge opportunity to conserve resources--is the 1.3 billion tons of food that the FAO says is wasted globally each year, a whopping 1/3 of annual global production.  The FAO estimates that each year, consumers in Europe and North America wast 95-115 kilograms/person, while in sub-Sahara Africa and South and Southeast Asia they waste only 6-11kilograms/person.  Indeed, consumers in high-income countries waste almost as much food (222 million tons)  as is produced in sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tons).  In wealthier countries, food is more likely to be wasted in the home rather than in the supply chain leading to it, whereas loss in poor countries occur disproportionately at harvesting and during processing.

Gary Gardner, State of the World 2015, pp.74-5

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