In a recent study, it was found that over a fifth of the world’s food production isn’t being used how it ought to be. In fact, nearly 20 percent of the food that is made available for consumption is either completely lost through waste or over-eating. The entire world’s population actually ingests nearly 10 percent more food than it actually needs while around nine percent is completely thrown away, discarded and never used. These are painful and embarrassing numbers when many places in the world see tens of thousands of people starve on a daily basis.
Slowly there are efforts being implemented that are attempting to reduce the billions of tons that are currently lost by increasing and strengthening food security. Part of this is to ensure that all individuals have access to an affordable, safe diet that is also nutritionally sound. Excess food waste can also pose a real threat toward the environment.
Lost To Over-Consumption
Researchers and scientists at the University of Edinburgh examined and studied the 10 stages of a global food system and some of their findings were downright eye-opening. What was incredibly jarring was the information that was gathered regarding the over-consumption that society is largely guilty of when it comes to food. Almost half of the harvested crops are lost to over-consumption. This is no wonder when obesity is becoming an epidemic in so many different parts of the world.
Many people in our society have access to food at an alarming rate. Simply the amount of fast food restaurants in any given city is emblematic of that. There’s also the case that economically, it is more difficult to eat well and not overeat when in a lower economic bracket. Cheap, supersized servings of tasty food that is horrendous for the body is sometimes all specific households can afford.
Waste, as well as inefficient food processes, is also a cause for concern when it comes to the amount of food that isn’t being allocated the way that it should be. There is also the fact that certain increased demand for foods like dairy or meat may decrease the manner in which these items can be efficiently attained – when meeting the demand will potentially compromise other facets of environmental safety such as the increase in greenhouse gas emissions, loss of biodiversity, and decreasing water supplies. The researchers surmised that encouraging consumers to eat less meat and dairy would help this particular issue.
Another issue is restaurants and well-off households that throw away copious amounts of perfectly good food on a weekly basis. Many eateries are mandated to throw away leftover food each day after closing because they are legally unable to sell it the next day. Households allow food to go to complete waste and rot, instead of proactively freezing the food in order to sustain it. This is food that could benefit homeless shelters and the needy all over the country and world.
We need to really get smart about how we consume food and how much we consume. We also need to do better distributing and allocating nutritiously-sound food to those who don’t readily have proper access to it.