Globally the shocking scale of food waste outlines the inequality and unsustainability of our warped global food system. Confronting food loss and waste is proven to be good for the health of the planet, and the human race. Do you realize that all the food you waste could have fed another human being and more so once it all occupies landfills it generates methane gas more deadly than Co2!
Reducing food waste can also make a significant contribution to tackling climate change. An astonishing 7% of all global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), or 3.3 billion tonnes CO2 equivalent (CO2eq) per year, are due to food waste.
Food Loss and Waste’s Impact on Climate
Consider for a moment that, by weight, around a third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. According to figures recently released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), food loss and waste accounts for about 4.4 gigatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (4.4 Gt CO2e) per year. To put this in perspective, if food loss and waste were its own country, it would be the world’s third-largest emitter—surpassed only by China and the United States. In fact, food loss and waste generates more than four times as much annual greenhouse gas emissions as aviation, and is comparable to emissions from road transport.
In short, your small leftovers all add up and pathetically it’s a big deal.
New research from top food and agriculture experts suggests the world is at a critical moment in the fight against food loss and waste. The report Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Setting a Global Action Agenda finds momentum is building to address the 1.3 billion tons of food that is lost or wasted each year – but not yet at a pace needed – and proposes a global action agenda to successfully meet the United Nations’ call to halve food loss and waste by 2030.
Released at the World Food Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, the report has been produced by World Resources Institute with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, and in partnership with United Nations Environment,The report is designed to guide businesses, governments, civil society, and others in the food system to play an active role in tackling food loss and waste, individually and collectively.
“There’s more public and private sector activity than ever – with 30 of the world’s largest global food companies setting targets to reduce food loss and waste – but we’re still falling short in major areas,” said Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute. “Halving food loss and waste by 2030 is critical if we’re to feed the world without destroying the planet. The three-pronged agenda we’re urging gives the world a blueprint for success, with clear and specific action items everyone from crop farmers to hoteliers must take now to combat this waste.”
So, the best way to prevent food wastage at home is to audit your food waste. Cross-check exactly what is being wasted. Buy only what you need for short term. Cook only proportionately to the members eating the preparations. Don’t be fooled by consumerism. Share your extra food with the needy. When eating at restaurants buy small portions and just enough to be fully consumed.
Most of all, ironically don’t leave the leftovers of Planet Earth filled with methane to the next generation, only after you have consumed everything?!
(The writer is a global speaker on climate change, connecting the anthropological discoveries and gourmet findings to the globe. From Harvard University USA, Post Grad in Environment law,Being an advanced PADI diver she writes on Oceans, climate change and mitigation)