How much food is wasted globally each year?
Each year 1.3bn tonnes of food, about a third of all that is produced, is wasted, including about 45% of all fruit and vegetables, 35% of fish and seafood, 30% of cereals, 20% of dairy products and 20% of meat.
What does this mean for agriculture?
About 1.4bn hectares, or close to 30% of available agricultural land, is used to grow or farm food that is subsequently wasted. This is particularly alarming given estimates that by 2050 food production will need to have increased by 60% on 2005 levels to feed a growing global population. Reducing food wastage would ease the burden on resources as the world attempts to meet future demand.
Where, how and when is most of the food wasted?
In developing countries there are high levels of what is known as “food loss”, which is unintentional wastage, often due to poor equipment, transportation and infrastructure. In wealthy countries, there are low levels of unintentional losses but high levels of “food waste”, which involves food being thrown away by consumers because they have purchased too much, or by retailers who reject food because of exacting aesthetic standards
How about the UK – What type of foods do we waste most?
In the UK, 15m tonnes of food is lost or wasted each year and consumers throw away 4.2m tonnes of edible food each year. The foods most commonly found in British bins are bread, vegetables, fruit and milk.
What does this mean for the average family?
The average family throws away £700 worth of perfectly good food a year, or almost or almost £60 worth of food a month. The average weekly expenditure on food and non-alcoholic drinks in 2013 was £58.80 according to the ONS, which means a typical family throws away a week’s worth of groceries each month.