Food waste is one of the biggest problems facing mankind today. Meanwhile, 800 million people go to bed hungry every night. As you throw away your leftovers, here’s something to remember over 7,000 die every day due to hunger. 2 in every 10 people go to sleep hungry every night. This is not because our farmers do not produce enough food for all but because almost 40% of what they produce is wasted. Produce that is wasted after harvest, during storage and transit at markets is categorized as food loss. Pakistan is equipped to store just about half the food that its farmers grow. It's mean that we required cold storage for 66 million tonnes and the available storage is just 30 million tonnes.
It’s easy for many people to dismiss food waste as someone else’s problem (“I don’t waste any food”) or to focus solely on the more visibly shocking examples of waste (unharvested fields of produce plowed back into the earth, supermarket skip waste). However, the reality is that in the ‘developed’ world, more than 50% of food waste takes place in our homes. In contrast, less than 2% of food waste takes place at the retail store level (though supermarket practices are directly responsible for much food waste elsewhere in the supply chain.)
This is hitting overall growth and there is a huge human cost to pay. 15% of Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product comes from agriculture and loss of produce hits farmer’s income. Over 50% of the population is in agriculture-related jobs. 3,000 children die every day because of poor diet-related diseases. Micronutrients are crucial for bone and brain growth. These are mostly found in perishables. A shortage of storage units leads to the rotting of perishable food leads to a loss of micronutrients leads to a lack of nutritious food. 4 in 10 children under the age of 5 suffer from moderate and severe stunting, due to chronic malnutrition. Anemia is severe in both women and pre-school children. There are long and short term solutions to this problem.
Each year one-third of all the food the world produces is Lotte store wasted not only does this mean an economic loss. It means that all of the natural resources used for growing processing packaging transporting and marketing that food were also wasted imagine 28% of the world’s agricultural land grows crops that are wasted that equals the total land area of China Mongolia and Kazakhstan. Plus the water wasted in growing those crops equals the annual flow rate of the Zambezi or the Volga rivers an amount that could cover all the world’s household water needs and as agriculture and fisheries expand into wild areas overexploit natural resources forests and marine habitats are lost along with their biodiversity. Above all wasted food emits some 3.3 Gigatons of greenhouse gases if this were a country it would represent the third-largest emitting country in the world this cannot continue with a future of more people and fewer resources. We cannot afford to throw our natural resources out with the garbage.
Let’s do something about wastage food producers can invest in better harvest and storage technology to avoid food loss.
Food retailers can reduce prices of that imperfectly shaped vegetable and donate unsellable yet edible surplus grocery food to those in need food not fit for human consumption should be reused to feed animals.
Individual consumers can be more careful shoppers use better methods to store and recycle leftovers and request smaller portions in the restaurant.
Small efforts add up the food wastage pyramid is based on garbage policymakers can enhance the ability of producers retailers and consumers to turn that pyramid around.
For example, develop capacities of food producers to adopt post-harvest technologies revise those sell-by expiration dates so perfectly. Safe food is not discarded launch awareness-raising campaigns to inspire consumers to take whatever steps they can to stop food wastage reduce landfills trough investments in transforming food waste into compost and biogas.
The solution starts with you each producer supermarket household restaurant and the nation as a part to play. It will take the commitment of all to reduce loss and waste so that all the natural resources used to produce food will end up as meals for the world’s population instead of as garbage in landfills.