Food waste and food loss is a Huge Global Problem


Food is a material consumption by humans. But this consumption is a necessity for living. Food consists of drinks, manufactured raw materials, etc. It accepts things other than cosmetics and drugs. This necessity of the body is now discarded in many places. it is estimated that annual food waste globally is $1 trillion and this weight of 1.3 billion tons. Let me try to give you a hint, “We can say that an area larger than China can be used to grow food which has never been eaten”.The total Water used in producing this amount of food is 250 Km3.

Let us do a deep analysis to try and understand. The broader aspect of “Food Waste”.

The Food waste problem

Food waste refers to the food which is discarded by people. Many people in this world are unable to have a balanced diet or availability of food, but many other people still exist which throws even if it is suitable for consumption. At an average American waste, roughly 40% of its food. Actually food waste is a specific food loss, this specific food loss is now everywhere. Sometimes it’s going to a restaurant when we leave food on the table and sometimes after a meal. Let’s have a deep analysis of where and all we waste food.

Food waste in Households

Household food wastage stands for topmost in the edible category of food waste. Our culture in India is that ” food is like a blessing provided by God”. Unfortunately according to the UN report household food waste in India is 68.7 million tonnes a year. According to a UN report, almost 61% of the food waste in the world is because of the household. These are all because of us who support the following in the household. 

Excessive Buying:  When we go to the mart. We took away the bulk of food baggage with us and we didn’t think about having it over. We think it will be used this month. Without any proper planning, we carry all the things from the mart. 

Food spoiled: Overbuying leads to the other part of spoiled food. Food is stored in such a manner that it gets spoiled in refrigerators. This is all because of one reason lack of preparation

Preparing More: This is the major cause among all the above processes. We don’t prepare food in the right proportion with planning. Our phrase at that time “Oh! let it be, who cares” is how we react towards the food. That extra food would be thrown in the Hungry Bin. That hungry bin is in every household in the world. We are more fascinated by making rather than taking it in the right proportion.

Food waste in Restaurants

According to UN reports the total waste from food service services is 244 million tonnes. The Global average food waste is 232 kg/capita/year. We usually go to a restaurant and order food from the great menu. We don’t know whether we can finish it all on the table or not. All of us don’t look at the menu in quantity rather than seeing it as fascinating. The food cooked again goes in the Hungry Bin. The kitchen worker itself throws away much of the food if it doesn’t match the standard. Restaurants in services do a great waste globally. Therefore many of the restaurants have introduced a buffer system to reduce food wastage.

Food waste in Retails

Most of the retail shops Waste huge amounts of food. According to the reports, 118 million tonnes of raw food is wasted by the retail shops. Yes, it is less than above all those Global food waste sectors but it matters. This retailer shop includes fruits, seafood, vegetables, seasonal items, meat, etc. The display dates are estimated and after that dating food expires, It again goes in the Hungry Bin. Even some cruel retails don’t want their items eaten by some needy people. They put bleach in bins so that raw food gets ruined up. We will be catching this later on.

What is Food loss?

Food loss refers to the decrease of food in the supply chain, affecting the process of service providers and consumers. According to the Food loss index(FLI), the highest share of food losses in Central Asia and SOUTHERN is 20.7% of global agriculture. It is moreover the losses of fruits and vegetables rather than cereals and pulses. The food loss globally is around 400 billion USD in a year. Food loss is due to many factors like storage, transport, processing, etc. As a whole, we can say that food laws include non-edible parts. let’s get into

Where and Why Food loss takes place?

  •  At the farm: The food loss in the farm includes many factors which influence. They are climatic condition changes, Practices while harvesting, inadequate time given to the crops, etc. Farmers give their best to produce, but sometimes markets do not provide that much amount. Hence he refuses to sell because they have worked so hard to produce it. Market condition is also a major factor including these all storage places. 
  • Storage: The storage allows food to be kept in a place while traveling between marketing and consumption. It gives the stability to produce food raw materials. If the buyer delays the storage won’t spoil the product. Farmers also store the pulses and serials in their homes to reduce the cost of storage. Many of the farmers still use the old method of storing this because it directly or indirectly affects the produced crops. Also, there is very little cold storage globally. so Pharma is unable to proceed with the proper process of storage.
  • Transportation: This method of producing crops and vegetables from one place to another is known as transportation. it is also a gap between production to consumption many times produced are loaded and unloaded in the journey cereals and grains doesn’t have that many losses but vegetable do loss in large quantity many times due to due to excessive heat and temperature accident poor packing contamination non refrigerating trucks extra food losses according to the reports Southern Asia report loses of 8 to 25% this indicates transportation is a major loss point for fruits and vegetables

Difference between food loss and food waste

Food loss is usually when the food is discarded in the food chain. It takes place while food materials are on the way for consumption. As we studied above for food loss. We got to know it drives before human consumption of food. It mostly occurs in lower-income countries where food is unintentionally damaged. It is by pest in farm water, scarcity of water, food packing, transport of food, riots, pandemic, etc. which makes food damaged.

On the other hand, food waste is that discarded food that is ready for consumption. This well-cooked food was destroyed and taken to the Hungry Bin. We have studied why and all food waste occurs in the above paragraphs. It happens in high-income countries at restaurants, homes, hotels, and institutes. As we know food loss occurs unintentionally but food waste is done intentionally. It is due to not having any plan that fits while consuming food, making excessive food, buying excessive food, not storing it properly, or ordering extras from the menu. These processes are not at all unintentional to destroy food. It is we who can stop this destroying of food and only we are responsible for the food waste.

Environmental impact of food waste

It is not only food that is wasted but actually, there is a wastage of many other efforts and other resources behind growing it. For example, You go to a restaurant and order a lot of food from the menu. Now your table is covered with delicious food. For some reason, you didn’t eat that food I.e. it again went in the Hungry Bin. Hence, it is not only food that is in the Hungry Bin. Actually, the Hungry bin is filled with irrigation, farmers’ effort to grow, land of planting, transport facilities, and all the resources that have been invested while growing this food.

Did you know food wastage’s carbon footprint is estimated at 3.3 billion tons of Co2 equivalent to GHG released into the atmosphere per year? According to FAO. Also, the total volume of water used each year to produce that food is 250 KM3 which you waste.

We know that there is much composting going on but that all composting isn’t enough. A low percentage of food waste is composted and much of it is lying on the land. At last, it results in Methane emission that directly affects the environmental nature.

Covid 19 Pandemic impact on Food chain

Covid-19 has hit the global food chain. This pandemic has caused a shutdown of many institutes and hotels which is leading to short consumption. Farmers are growing food at an earlier production rate, but covid has made problems in the food chain. Supermart and companies which earlier purchased food in large amounts are now closed because of government rules. Things are going tough as farmers are working with less staff but not getting much of the benefits. Everything in people’s lives has gone up and down due to this coronavirus. 

The Individuals are purchasing more and more food from the mart. So that at home there wouldn’t be a scarcity of food. Due to this fear whenever there’s a chance, they purchase in bulk. That bulk food is discarded again in the Hungry bin.


Food Loss and Food Waste FAO (Food and Agriculture Department of United States).

Sustainable Development Goals – FAO (Food and Agriculture Department of United States).

The Problem of Food Waste – Almost half of our food is wasted in the United States. How does this happen? What can we do to solve our enormous food waste problem? – FoodPrint.

The challenge of reducing food loss and waste during COVID-19 – UN (United Nation).

Food Systems – FAO (Food and Agriculture Department of United States)

Global food losses and food waste – Pdf – FAO (Food and Agriculture Department of United States)

Food Waste – UN Environment programme.

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