Improving diets by reducing food loss and waste

The reduction of food loss and waste becomes a priority. The main goal is not only to improve people’s access to food, but to give them the opportunity to have access to nutritious and healthy food. The brief was prepared by the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The key note was to hold back the losses of high nutrient food throughout the food system. Given the fact that each year more than half of the fruits and vegetables produced in all over the world gets lost or wasted whereas around 25% of meat produced does not arrive in consumers stomachs but somehow gets lost as well, we realize that acting towards a more respectful and sustainable path is actually the only way we have. How can this be done? By forcing into action, the entire food system: educating stakeholders; focusing on perishable foods; improving public and private infrastructure; encouraging innovation; and closing the data and knowledge gaps on food losses and waste.

More amazing facts

Waste and loss of food is something that concerns both developing and developed countries but from a different point of view. You see, in low-income countries, food gets usually lost during harvesting, storage, processing and transportation, while in high-income countries this happens through retail and consumption. But that loss doesn’t only concern the whole food. In many cases it concerns the loss of the food’s micronutrients. The following example will help you realize exactly of what we are talking about. Agriculture, in all over the world, produces 22% more vitamin A than we require. After loss and waste, the remailing amount of vitamin A for human consumption appears to be 11% less than required!

So, by reducing the loss and waste of nutritious foods could have a remarkable positive impact on people’s health. If we consider that 1 in 5 deaths is associated with poor-quality diets, we can completely understand what a significant (and, above all, necessary) step this would be. To this, we can also add the economic returns this could have, since the value of food lost or wasted every year globally is estimated at around $ 1 trillion! Last but not least, consuming the food we already have produced, would also be saving the resources of our planet (land, water and energy).

Would you like to read the full report? Then all you have to do is to download it from here.

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