Are Food Loss and Waste Inevitable?


no picture Achmad
Se registró el día 9 de octubre de 2013
  • 36 Artículos

Food waste and loss

Food waste and loss

Nowadays the demand for food in a growing world population is the most challenging of all food issues. The impacts of food to the global environment are imperative drivers for changes. The demand which is not managed well will bring about the greatest squandering of human and natural resources.

According to an FAO-commissioned study (2011), one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year - approximately 1.3 billion tons - gets lost or wasted. The amount is equivalent to more than half of the world's annual cereal crop. Even people in the world confront food crises due to high human populations and lack of food stockpile. Although food loss and waste are common patterns, food loss and waste should be mitigated to global food security and sustainability. Most food losses and wastes are intentional and undesirable. The problems represent deliberate decisions to process raw materials of food from producing to consuming phases, and to dispose the leftovers and oversupply of food.Apparently, these problems always happen in our lives because of irresponsible human attitudes beyond the other factors. They neglect the important role of food on supporting human life. Other reasons are lack of awareness raising, coordination and collaboration, development in policy and strategy, and projects on reducing food loss and waste. We must alleviate waste in rotting landfills as soon as possible because of the unwanted environmental impact. Sometimes the wastes contributes to produce greenhouse gas emissions including CO2 and methane as a major source of global warming.
The most questioning look of the above is “Are food loss and waste inevitable?” My answer to you is, “NO”. Food loss and waste could be prevented by profound precise strategies by gathering world-wide initiatives.

Here are some strategies on how to address food loss and waste: (1.) food supply chain management (2.) food oversupply distribution to the poorest regions (3.) unsold food business establishment to charities for people in need (4.) awareness raising and attitude change of human being on cutting food loss and waste (5.) nationally and internationally collaboration of reducing food loss and waste (6.) program and policy development to minimize wastes and (7.) converting wasted food management.
Food supply chain is the used for managing food which includes harvesting, transporting, storage, processing, packaging, distributing and consuming. Food loss always occurs at each step of the food supply chain so that the efficiency of the process should be improved. Food losses mostly happens in developed and developing countries because of inadequate technologies. On the other hand, food wastes happens in consumption levels of rich and industrialized countries.
Oversupply of food should be transferred to the poorest region or to beggars. This distribution will help reduce food loss and waste in the world but we should decide the transport cost because it will influence the environmental impacts as well. In addition, some people are able to care for building social business such as in Australia and Nairobi. There are certain NGO’s and waste scavangers which help collect only a small portion of the food to be sold and reused.

The most difficult way to overcome food wastes is by raising awareness and changing attitudes of human beings. It can’t easily be altered because it is close to their habits. However, some experts advise to use communication and social media for campaigns continually. Perhaps the most effective communication is by direct communication in the form of face to face and education from the experts to public societies. In addition, Facebook, Twitter, website and blog are examples of supporting media for promoting food losses and waste campaigns. Personally, us as humans should understand the occurring negative impacts of the above towards all aspects beyond their selves.
Most national and international organizations have developed strategies and policies to address food losses and wastes. For instance, the United Nations agencies; FAO and UNEP; in partnership with certain institutions have collaborated and coordinated to fight against food problems through policy and particular program. The deliberations and initiative programme should be shared to the world-wide so that the latest problem, solution and supporting information will be ascertained. The collaborations should involve children and youth as agent of change, despite of private and public sectors. Lastly, we can convert waste. We can separate wastes into organic and inorganic uses. By understanding the chemical substance of wastes, useful materials can be obtained. With the right implementation of such strategies, an endeavor to settle food loss and waste as well as its impacts will be easily achieved.

Reference: UNFAO [Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. 2011. Cutting food waste to feed the world. Available in : .

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