Global food waste: developed vs. developing countries

food waste developing countries
  • According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, about one-third of all food produced for human use is wasted globally each year, totaling to 1.6 billion tons.
  • Wasted food produces roughly 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases.
  • Food waste is expected to cause US $750 billion in economic losses globally.

Food waste has become a complex problem in recent years, attracting the attention of experts and customers in both developed and developing nations. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, roughly one-third of all food produced for human use is wasted globally, amounting to 1.6 billion tons each year.

Food waste is becoming a major source of worry since it is connected with economic, social, and environmental implications. Food waste is increasing in both developed and developing nations for a variety of reasons.

One of them is a lack of adequate food management planning. Individuals or consumers may buy more food than they need without thinking how and when the food will be consumed.

Another important cause of food waste in developing countries is food safety protocols. Food quality may suffer as a result of errors in food safety measures in industrial food processing. And, in the end, all of the bad food is thrown away. Overcooking, manufacturing trials, packing problems, trial runs, and incorrect sizes and weights can result in substandard food and, ultimately, food rejection.

One major challenge that contributes to food waste in developing countries is the lack of managerial, financial, and technical resources for harvesting methods, food storage, and problems with lyophilization (freeze-dry process) and food preservation in adverse weather conditions, as well as processing and packaging.

Source: Statista

The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa) have been a major influence on changing food production and consumption patterns in the world economy. Over-merchandising of food products in supermarkets, wholesale markets, and retail outlets frequently results in waste.

The economic and environmental impact of food waste

Food wastage not only causes a shortage of food, but also the loss of biodiversity. Farmers have started invading wild areas searching for more fertile lands in order to maximize agricultural yields resulting in biodiversity loss.

First, the food is produced and then later is approximately equal to 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases, increasing the temperature of the climate. Uneaten and unconsumed food financial statements are estimated to be equal to 1.4 billion hectares of land, which is almost equal to one third of agricultural land in the world, which could be utilized for other significant purposes, such as environmental research.

Thirty percent of the food that goes to waste causes the loss of more than 30 percent of the water used in the manufacture and processing of food.

Furthermore, food wastage also causes a loss in economic costs. The estimated economic losses related to food wastage are about US $750 billion dollars per annum.

Main photo: By Sigurdas – [1] (found automatically by User:Picasa Review Bot) Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6033225

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