oh, what a waste

wasted food global factoid“Up to 50 percent of all food on Earth left uneaten.” – British study


No one eats nearly a half of all food – from 30% to 50% – grown and produced in the world, which is almost 2 billion tons a year, reports a British Society of Mechanical Engineers study.


Let me say that again.

30% to 50% of ALL food grown and produced globally is never eaten.

I don’t really need to state the obvious … but this situation tragic.

About 925 million people were undernourished in 2010 (FAO 2010). 925 million people represents 13.6% of the estimated world population of 6.8 billion. Nearly all of the undernourished are in developing countries.

About 10 million children starve to death globally on an annual basis.

About 50,000 starve to death each year in US.


It is even more tragic because of the waste.

All people should think about a strategy of a reasonable diet … because there are a boatload of people who have a strategy to even HAVE a reasonable diet.

And it will become more tragic because of the fact that according to UN projections the global population will grow by three billion people by 2075.


The world produces enough food to feed everyone. And will continue to be quite capable of doing so.

World agriculture produces 17% more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago <even with a 70% population increase>. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day according to the most recent estimate that I could find.


Wasted food appears as a result of a combination of several factors: bad harvest collection, improper storage conditions, the absence of strict control over the sale of expired products and waste <not eating everything they have> by consumers.

Here is a frightening factoid.

Up to 30% of vegetables in the UK are left to rot on the fields, because they are not sufficiently attractive in their appearance <I did not make that up … that is pulled directly from a report>.wasted food we buy

Here is another frightening factoid. One third of all the food we buy <in developed countries>  … yes … we actually BUY … gets wasted.

Even the most sustainably farmed food does us no good if the food is never eaten.

Food is simply too good to waste.

Because it isn’t just about starvation …getting food to the table uses up to 10% of the total U.S. energy budget, and,

uses 50 percent of U.S. land, and,

uses about 80% of freshwater consumed in the US.


40% of food in the United States today goes uneaten.

That is more than 20 pounds of food per person every month.

Not only does this mean that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year but also 25% of all freshwater is wasted as well as large amounts of unnecessary chemicals, energy, and land.

Food saved by reducing losses by just 15% in America could feed more than 25 million people every year.


wasted food guideI was stunned by some of these numbers.

I knew we wasted food … but never in these terms.

I can guarantee you that I will think a little more before I buy anything as well as what I don’t eat.


I am not suggesting every one of us make some radical changes to what & how we eat … but maybe by being a little more aware we can each make some small changes to our behavior.

Even small actions can contribute to a greater good.

Written by Bruce