Food Waste: The Cost to the Economy

Food glorious food! As a nation we are obsessed with food, the way it is prepared, the things we love to eat the most such as Indian food, Chinese, the new delicacies that we can try and most importantly the benefits and health considerations that comes with food. Food has a direct impact on not only our lives but our environment and the world around us. In recent years there has been a large amount of emphasis placed on the way we waste food and the effect this has on the environment. The world around us has been damaged considerably and experts are constantly finding new ways for us to live a normal life whilst attempting to reduce the harm that is being done. One of the biggest causes of damage to the environment is the high level of food waste that a large majority of countries in the world are guilty of.

The Facts

  • 60% of food that is discarded is still fit to be eaten.
  • 400,000 tons of food that is thrown out by Supermarkets could be saved and consumed.
  • On average, 30% of all food is wasted worldwide every year.
  • Food wastage results in a £5 billion economic loss every year.

The amount of food that is wasted is not only shocking and unnecessary but also equates to a large amount of the damage that is done to the environment. Rotting food emits some of the highest levels of harmful gases and has one of the most negative impacts on the land, climate and the water we rely so heavily upon. The high levels of food wastage is not only harmful to the environment but is a real concern considering 870 million people in the world are suffering from shortages of food and regularly face starvation and hunger related problems. The food that goes uneaten can fill 1.4 billion hectares of land, which equates to 30% of the worlds agricultural land area.

Most of us are devoted to food and the amount of eating establishments that are available proves this. There are restaurants to cater for every possible taste and to provide foods from across the globe. There is an element of greed that has been created when it comes to food and a level of snobbery that means we are more likely to discard food that may be even just a day over the suggested use by date even if the food looks and feels perfectly fine. People are far more fearful of eating food that may be spoiled or not perfect that food is thrown away and the level of wastage continues to grow.

Making a very real effort to cut down on the amount of food that is wasted has overwhelming benefits. Money will be saved which will in turn help the economy, the amount of greenhouse gases will be reduced however slight and will reduce the harm that is being done to the environment. Furthermore, household bills will be smaller as people are eating the food they buy rather than literally throwing money away.  Think twice next time you are about to waste food, you’ll be glad you did!  Another way to reduce food waste is to grow your own, greenhouses allow you to produce your own vegetables throughout the year at a rate you consume them.

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