Free 700 words essay on Food Wastage – Data, Facts and Impacts for school and college students.
Food wastage has rightly been touted as the dumbest problem of mankind. Every year around the globe, 1.3 billion tonnes of food is lost or wasted. This is tantamount to one-third of all the food that is produced for human consumption. A quantitative fragmentation of this issue is even more appalling. Around 30% of cereals in industrialized countries are thrown away by the consumers. In fact, alone in Europe 29 million tonnes of dairy products are wasted annually. Fishing across the world has already started becoming scarce given the vagaries of climate change. Still, almost 8% of the fishes caught globally are thrown back to the ocean, dead and decaying. 45% is the quantum of fruits and vegetables wasted, that is disturbingly almost half of the produce. Over 20% of meat produced globally is also squandered.
Keeping aside these facts, let’s understand how other scarce resources are being wasted indirectly as a result of this mindlessness. Water, land, energy, labor, and capital, all of which are inevitable for the creation of food gets drained away in the process. Freshwater used for irrigation is being exploited endlessly. Agricultural land emits methane. Generation of energy requires fossil fuel burning that produces noxious gases. The supply chain for food transportation also involves a colossal use of petroleum. These factors have been the reason behind the anthropogenic issues of global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change. Most of the food wasted is not rotten or expired, but unused, sealed, and perfectly fit for consumption.
None of us like wasting food, but we still never find a solution to it because it’s just not a priority. The Food and Agricultural Organization under the aegis of United Nations has relentlessly campaigned for reducing the waste footprint of the world citizens. It needs a policy reformulation from the highest level of government and corporations. San Francisco based tech company Copia is a groundbreaking entrepreneurial venture founded by Komal Ahmed. These zero risks, zero liability platform has helped make food donation fast, easy, and lucrative.
Food losses and waste estimates go even to $680 billion in the industrialized countries and $310 in the developing countries. It has been found that western countries are most likely to waste food at the consumption stage, such as in North American, European, and Oceania regions. Perishables such as fruits and vegetables are likely to be wasted more than any more. The rate of wastage is 20% for meat and dairy, and 35% for fish. A Guardian report claims that roughly 50% of all products in the United States is thrown away which is around 60 million tonnes of produce. The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States administration has estimated that wasted food forms the single biggest component of landfills in the country. Similarly, food wastage realities across the world are stark and diabolical. It is morally wrong to waste food when 800 million people across the world go to bed hungry. Besides, it is estimated that 1 in 9 persons on the planet is starving or malnourished.
Food wastage is also an environmental catastrophe as a huge amount of limited resources are used to grow food which is never eaten and goes to landfills eventually. Around 25% of world’s fresh water supply is used to grow the food which is never consumed. Also, this causes emission of greenhouse gases on an unbelievable scale. It is even estimated that the annual value of food wasted is $1 trillion and weighs around 1.3 billion tonnes. In most of the developed countries, the food wastage is mostly done at home. Supermarkets aren’t the only culprits.
Small initiatives like eating smaller portions, donating food from restaurants, careful shopping of eateries, identifying reasons of waste and thereafter solving it, can have a substantial contribution to solving this dire issue. Worldwide initiatives on food loss and waste reduction must witness extensive collaborative and cooperative efforts. Both public and private sector have to step up implementation procedures. The SAVE FOOD campaign must be in tandem with the global vision of Sustainable Development Goals and Zero Hunger Challenge. Almost 2.3 billion more people will join the planet by 2050 and that would require the production of more food. Frittering away such valuable source is self-destructive and hence must be addressed by the global fraternity.