UN issues alarming global food wastage and shortage

UN issues alarming global food wastage and shortage
26 April 2024

The 2024 UNEP Food Waste Index Report, released on March 27, tracks the global effort to halve food waste by 2030. According to the report, an estimated 19% of the food produced globally in 2022, approximately 1.05 billion metric tons, went to waste. Researchers analyzed data from various sources, including households, food service, and retailers.

Key findings from the report include:

1. Household Waste Dominates: The majority of food waste, about 60%, occurred at the household level, followed by waste from food service and restaurants.

2. Data Coverage Improvement: The report notes a near doubling of data coverage since the previous report in 2021, with increased convergence in average per capita household food waste. There was a substantial increase in data availability and coverage in the household sector, with 194 data points across 93 countries.

3. Global Concern: Food waste is not only a social issue but also a significant environmental concern due to its impact on land and water resources, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Food loss and waste contribute 8 to 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, ranking third after China and the U.S.

4. Humanitarian Crisis: The report comes at a critical time when millions of people worldwide face chronic hunger and deepening food crises. Human-made crises in places like Gaza and Haiti have exacerbated the situation, with famine looming in some regions.

5. Role of Redistribution: The report highlights the importance of food redistribution, including donating surplus food to food banks and charities, in tackling food waste among retailers.

6. Data Improvement for Targeted Action: With better data, countries can identify hotspots, drive innovation, and monitor progress toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal 12, which aims to halve global per capita food waste.

The 172-page report, co-authored by UNEP and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), underscores the urgency of addressing food waste to ensure food security, mitigate environmental impact, and achieve global sustainability goals.

Please find the original version of the articel below:

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