Every year fifty thousand crore rupees of food grains are wasted. In a world where millions of people do not have food to eat properly, what story tells the destruction of such grains?
On the one hand, the remaining food of the night is thrown away daily as stale, on the other hand there are some people who do not eat even for a while and are starving. It is the story of almost every developed and developing country. The common man is troubled by inflation, the prices of food items are skyrocketing, but the government is not sure why the government does not release it in the open market when there is large stock of food grains. Even though rats eat grains in warehouses, grains keep moist and rot in water. Therefore a proper policy is needed to be executed so that food wastage can be prevented. Every person should be responsible and duty-bound to investigate this burning problem to provide food security to all. In Indian culture, food has the status of respect, which is the reason it is viewed as a transgression to surrender or insolence food erroneously. However, in the visually impaired race of innovation, we have overlooked this ceremony of our own.
According to some researches and findings by the report of the World Food Organization, consistently, food worth rupees fifty thousand crores go into the nation which is 40% of the nation’s creation.This wastage has its regular assets on our nation. Our nation is battling with water shortage. However, 230 cusecs of water are squandered in creating this waste of food, which can extinguish the thirst of 100 million individuals In the United States 30 per cent of all food, worth US$48.3 billion (€32.5 billion), is thrown away each year. It is estimated that about half of the water used to produce this food also goes to waste since agriculture is the largest human use of water.
Losses at the farm level are probably about 15–35 per cent, depending on the industry. The retail sector has comparatively high rates of loss of about 26 per cent, while supermarkets, surprisingly, only lose about 1 per cent. Overall, losses amount to around US$90 billion–US$100 billion a year
- Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year – approximately 1.3 billion tonnes – gets lost or wasted.
- Food losses and waste amount to roughly US$ 680 billion in industrialized countries and US$ 310 billion in developing countries.
- Industrialized and developing countries dissipate roughly the same quantities of food – respectively 670 and 630 million tonnes.
- Fruits and vegetables, plus roots and tubers have the highest wastage rates of any food.
- Global quantitative food waste per year is roughly 30 per cent for cereals, 40-50 per cent for root crops, fruits, and vegetables, 20 per cent for oilseeds, meat and dairy plus 30 per cent for fish.
- Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tonnes) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tonnes).
- The amount of food wasted every year is equivalent to more than half of the world’s annual cereals crop (2.3 billion tonnes in 2009/2010).
- Per capita waste by consumers is between 95-115 kg a year in Europe and North America, while consumers in sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeastern Asia, each throw away only 6-11 kg a year.
- Total per capita food production for human consumption is about 900 kg a year in rich countries, almost twice the 460 kg a year produced in the poorest regions.
- In developing countries, 40 per cent of losses occur at post-harvest and processing levels while in industrialized countries more than 40 per cent of losses happen at retail and consumer levels.
- At the retail level, large quantities of food are wasted due to quality standards that over-emphasize appearance.
- Food loss and waste also amount to a major squandering of resources, including water, land, energy, labor, and capital, and needlessly produce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming and climate change.
- Even if just one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world.
- In developing countries, food waste occurs mainly at the early stages of the food value chain and can be traced back to financial, managerial and technical constraints in harvesting techniques as well as storage and cooling facilities. Strengthening the supply chain through the direct support of farmers and investments in infrastructure, transportation, as well as in an expansion of the food and packaging industry could help to reduce the amount of food loss and waste.
- In medium and high-income countries, food is wasted and lost mainly at later stages in the supply chain. Differing from the situation in developing countries, the behavior of consumers plays a huge part in industrialized countries. The study identified a lack of coordination between actors in the supply chain as a contributing factor. Farmer-buyer agreements can be helpful to increase the level of coordination. Additionally, raising awareness among industries, retailers, and consumers as well as finding beneficial use for food that is presently thrown away are useful measures to decrease the amount of losses and waste.
Effect of wastage of food
The effects of wastage of food drastically impact society as well as the environment.
- Food has to be processed before consumption. This means energy and resources are expended in harvesting, transporting, storing and cooking food.
- When food is wasted, all these efforts and energy goes to waste.
- Wasted food that ends up in landfills often produces large quantities of methane.
- Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, hence, it directly contributes to global warming.
What are the five ways we can prevent wastage of food?
5 ways in which we can prevent the wastage of food are given below.
- Shop for food items only for the limited quantity
- Don’t cook too much
- Try to preserve by keeping in the refrigerator
- Try to make new recipes from the leftovers
- Have a look at your serving numbers before cooking