Although not energy production this topic of conversation is the sensible first stop in any logical journey to secure a positive future. After several generations as food producers ourselves at Caplor - we speak first hand of the ridiculous waste that is encountered as a result of the points made below. We would as a norm,''expect'' to waste 20-30% of a potato crop as discussed below and often simply because of tiny blemishes or size issues - It truly is ridiculous. Yet this year, the worst potato harvest for decades, ''suddenly'' a much larger % of the crop is deemed OK to use - A true travesty to common sense and concern for our environment.
As much as half of all the food produced in the world – equivalent to 2bn tonnes – ends up as waste every year, engineers warned in a report published on Thursday.
The UK's Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) blames the "staggering" new figures in its analysis on unnecessarily strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one free and Western consumer demand for cosmetically perfect food, along with "poor engineering and agricultural practices", inadequate infrastructure and poor storage facilities.
Their report, Global Food; Waste Not, Want Not, found that between 30% and 50% or 1.2-2bn tonnes of food produced around the world never makes it on to a plate.
In the UK as much as 30% of vegetable crops are not harvested due to their failure to meet retailers' exacting standards on physical appearance, it says, while up to half of the food that is bought in Europe and the US is thrown away by consumers.
Tim Fox, head of energy and environment at the IME, said: "The amount of food wasted and lost around the world is staggering. This is food that could be used to feed the world's growing population – as well as those in hunger today. It is also an unnecessary waste of the land, water and energy resources that were used in the production, processing and distribution of this food."
In order to prevent further waste, governments, development agencies and organisation like the UN "must work together to help change people's mindsets on waste and discourage wasteful practises by farmers, food producers, supermarkets and consumers," the IME said.