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Food Waste Costs Over £400 Billion Every Year

July 3, 2014

food waste100 million tonnes of food is thrown away every year in Europe, according to a new study commissioned by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (UNFAO). The situation elsewhere in the world is just as concerning, with estimates suggesting 40% of all food produced in the United States is never eaten.

The report concludes that the reasons for the problem are locally based and cannot be addressed by a global solution. Professor Per Pinstrup-Andersen, lead author of the study, admits, “We don’t really know how much food is being wasted. We just know it’s a lot. If food was as expensive as a Ferrari, we would polish it and look after it.”

Over a third of food waste comprises of fruit and vegetables, while 28% of the world’s farmland is being used to grow food that will ultimately be thrown away. In the UK the Waste Resource Action Programme (WRAP) has established the successful Love Food Hate Waste campaign, but as Emma Marsh (who heads up the initiative) agrees, there’s still a lot of work to be done. “We all have our own reasons for why food gets thrown away at home,” she said. “There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. We want to get people to look at the huge volume of food and drink ending up in the bin and consider the one thing they might do differently to make sure food gets tasted, not wasted.”

You can view a copy of the UNFAO report here