Food waste …

by | Feb 2, 2010 | Climate, Food, Solutions

Lots of food is wasted – here are some statistics:


  • 1.6 billion tonnes of “primary product equivalents” is wasted globally.  Food we could have eaten, but is wasted, amounts to 1.3 billion tonnes.
  • This wastage is also
    • 3.3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent of GHG released into the atmosphere per year.
    • 250k m3 of water – or  the annual flow of Russia’s Volga River, or three times the volume of Lake Geneva.
    • Similarly, 1.4 billion hectares of land – 28 percent of the world’s agricultural area – is used annually to produce food that is lost or wasted.
      Agriculture is responsible for a majority of threats to at-risk plant and animal species tracked by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  Think how many endangered species could be saved from extinction if this land were returned to its wild state and not farmed …
  • Little wasted food is composted: much of it ends up in landfills and represents a large part of municipal solid waste. Methane emissions from landfills represents one of the largest sources of GHG emissions from the waste sector.
  • Home composting can potentially divert up to 150 kg of food waste per household per year from local collection authorities and free them up to do other useful stuff.
  • Developing countries suffer more food losses during agricultural production, while in middle- and high-income regions, food waste at the retail and consumer level tends to be higher.
  • The direct economic result of food wastage (excluding fish and seafood) is about ~$750 billion annually.

Waste less …

… like France:

Waste less food

See the Executive summary below of the Food sustainability index by the Economist Intelligence Unit & BCFN Foundation: