15.12.2021 -

Food Waste Facts – Why Wasting Food Is a Problem

Much has been said about greenhouse gases and especially carbon dioxide but it’s important to also direct our attention towards food waste and methane. 

Nothing can top the feeling of an eventful holiday feast with a selection of your favourite meals and dishes spread all across the table. Undoubtedly the vast amounts of edibles are there to serve the hungry needs of all guests. Yet despite the big appetites, it seems that so much of it still ends up in the bin instead of a stomach. 

If there’s one gift to give this holiday season, how about not wasting any food? Food waste is one of the most important climate-related issues and will be an everlasting problem should current wasteful habits continue. 

One-third of produced foods globally goes to waste

Let’s start with a fact that does not even seem that shocking when you think about it. One-third of all foods globally end up in landfills decomposing and producing methane. 

Where does this food waste come from, you ask? According to eufic.org, a staggering 61% comes from households, not saying this includes you, but most likely your neighbour. A milder 21% of food waste comes from food services and 13% from retail. 

Methane is 28 times stronger than carbon dioxide

This is probably the most important fact regarding greenhouse gases and methane. Again, to answer the question of why food waste is such a big issue, methane as a greenhouse gas is a hazardous air pollutant and contributor to global warming

Food waste alone generates roughly 10% of all emissions 

Eliminating food waste or at least reducing it would be a tremendous service to our planet. According to the United Nations Environment Program, out of all global greenhouse gas emissions, food waste contributes 10% and this, naturally, is a big problem. 

Wasting food does not limit to the procedure of throwing something in the bin. You are not only wasting food but also wasting resources that were used to produce the food, whether it be a can of tomatoes or a bundle of sausages. 

If food waste were a country, it would be the third-biggest emitting country in the world

Another interesting fact about food waste that puts things into perspective. According to eufic.org, the global amount of food waste emits more greenhouse gasses than any other country in the world, apart from China and the United States. This is a very eye-opening piece of information about the sheer size of this problem and how wasting food can truly be detrimental in the grand scheme of things. 

Reducing food waste is one of the best ways to fight climate change

If societies wish to tackle climate change in a very simple manner, all that needs to be done is to eat less and buy less. Excessive food consumption that eventually leads to food waste is once again a very humane problem and has little to do with any other factors than one’s self. 

Should we be able to eliminate global food waste, this would also save up to 4,4 million tonnes of CO2 in a year. This is equivalent to removing one out of fours cars off the roads. 

To summarise, here’s a final piece of food for thought. Imagine buying three bags of groceries and decisively throwing one bag away each time you exit the store. This is the rough estimation of how much products get wasted in regular households. Be smarter and waste less for the well being of our planet. 

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