[QODLink]
Europe

UN: Food waste totals $750bn a year

One-third of food produced worldwide is wasted and China is the worst culprit, Food and Agriculture Organisation says.

Last Modified: 11 Sep 2013 14:01
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The report criticised Asia, saying that over 100 kilos in vegetables per capita are wasted every year [Al Jazeera]

One-third of the food produced worldwide is wasted, costing the global economy around $750bn a year, a new report by the UN food agency said.

The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Wednesday some 1.3bn  tonnes of food are wasted every year, with the Asia region including China seen as the worst culprit.

The amount of the wasted food is equivalent to the Gross Domestic Production (GDP) of Switzerland, the director general, Jose Graziano da Silva said. 

"We simply cannot allow one-third of all the food we produce to go to waste or be lost because of inappropriate practices, when 870 million people go hungry every day," he added.

Achim Steiner, head of the United Nation's Environment Programme (UNEP), described it as "a staggering phenomenon."

"It will take less than 37 years to add another two billion people to the global population. How on earth will we feed ourselves in the future?" he asked.

'Effects environment badly'

Steiner said that eliminating food wastage had "enormous potential" to reduce hunger and called on citizens to take individual action to tackle the issue.

"Each year, food that is produced but not eaten is adding 3.3bn tonnes of greenhouse gases to the planet's atmosphere," FAO said. 

"Food wastage reduction would not only avoid pressure on scarce natural resources but also decrease the need to raise food production" to meet the demands of a fast-growing world population, it said.

Produced but uneaten food occupies 30 percent of the world's farmland, the report said.

249

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.