To put it simply, there is enough food on the planet to feed everyone. Fighting food waste plays a big role in fighting hunger and everyone has a part to play; from production, right through to the way that we as consumers choose to shop, love ‘ugly’ fruit and vegetables, and understand food labels. In the wise words of Sir David Attenborough:
AND THE ONE THING WE CAN ALL DO IS TO STOP WASTE. DON’T WASTE FOOD. DON’T WASTE POWER. THEY ARE PRECIOUS, AND WE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT THEM.
FOOD WASTE FACTS
Here in Australia, 7.3 million tonnes of food is lost or wasted every year. And while a large proportion of this food is still perfectly edible, around 5 million Australians are going hungry.
On a global scale, 690 million people across the globe were affected by hunger in 2019, a number expected to rise sharply as a result of COVID-19, and three billion people were unable to afford a healthy diet.
While worldwide hunger continues to rise, an estimated 931 million tonnes of food, or 17% of total food available to consumers in 2019, went into the waste bins of households, retailers, restaurants and other food services – the weight of this waste equals that of 23 million fully loaded 40-tonne trucks — bumper-to-bumper, enough to circle the Earth 7 times!
Food is wasted in many ways
- Food waste includes all food intended for human consumption that never reaches us, as well as edible food that consumers throw away.
- Perfectly edible fresh produce is often turned away from supermarket shelves because it does not meet the optimal criteria for consumers, such as shape, size and colour.
- Foods that are close to, at or beyond the “best-before” date are often discarded by retailers and consumers – even though they are still within their “use-by” date.
- Large quantities of wholesome edible food are often unused or left over and discarded from household kitchens and eating establishments.