A WORRYING fact against this global backdrop of hunger is food waste.
The FAO estimates that 925 million of the seven billion people on the planet are starving yet 1.3 billion tons of food – or enough to feed three billion people – are wasted every year.
Selina Juul, founder of the Stop Wasting Food Movement in Denmark, points out that over 30 percent of the world’s food supply is wasted.
In fact, the annual food waste in “Italy could feed 44 million people – all of Ethiopia’s undernourished population. The annual food waste in France is enough to feed the entire population of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Just five per cent of United States’ food waste could feed 4 million people for one day.”
She also adds that in the West, “we waste approximately 40 percent of our food. This 40 percent happens at the end of the food value chain – by retailers and consumers. The same percentage of food, 40 percent, is lost in developing countries, though here the food losses happen at the beginning of the value chain.”
Juuls also quotes Secretary-General of the Danish Red Cross, Anders Ladekarl, who said: “The Western world’s overconsumption of food is affecting global food prices: The more we in the West consume (and the more we throw out), the greater global demand for food becomes – and the higher food prices rise globally.”
Indeed, food, which is described as the “new gold,” and fighting its scarcity, will be one of the geopolitical issues of the future, Juuls says.