Despite the fact that we produce more than enough food to feed the entire world population, why is that one in every nine people are starving around the world? The answer is simple we never learned not to waste food. It’s a shocking fact that a third of the world’s food is wasted each year. The actual figure is 1.3 billion tons of food, which is enough to feed a billion hungry people. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations, if all the food wasted or lost in Latin America, Europe and Africa alone could be saved, it can feed approximately 800 million people. Be it rich or poor, every nation is wasting food indiscriminately. What’s more, the wasted food is filling up landfill sites it’s buried and left to rot, which causes greenhouse gases, eventually leading to a global warming and climate change.
According to Elliot Wooley, a food science and ecology professor in Loughborough University in Britain, in undeveloped and poor countries, most of the food waste occurs in the field or during storage and transportation. Due to poor harvesting methods and bad storage and cooling facilities, some materials, time or energy are wasted at early stages of food processing. For example, some harvested crops suffer from bacteria and pests and tomatoes are easily busied or even go bad. Therefore, modern agricultural technology should be applied to improve the technology, the quality and efficiency of production. Properly constructed grain silos can reduce the loss to rodents and insects from 20 percent to a mere 1-2 percent. Tomatoes, if transported in crates instead of burlaps, can be prevented from bruising and going bad.
Supermarkets are also one of the contributors to the food waste. They discard stuff that’s past its sell-by-date and they often refuse to sell vegetables or fruit that are wrong shape or look damaged. Roughly, a fifth perhaps-or twice that-is judged to beneath commercial standards. It is put to use as animal-feed or compost, or simply thrown away in a landfill. This fruit waste from supermarket is so serious that creating a market for unwanted fruit and vegetable is practicable. There is no denying that the degraded food is less attracting although it has the same taste and health benefits. Therefore, the emerging companies in this field should overcome three operational challenges. The first is to systematize distinctions in quality that can allow useful pricing. The second is to efficient distribution, since the degraded food is more easily to be deteriorated. Third, there is profitability. Small growers have often found substandard produce too costly to handle. Maybe government support is necessary at the early stage of such food market.
However, the biggest culprit for creating food waste is us. In Europe an incredible 53% of food wasted comes from households, which results in 88 million tons of food waste a year. People tend to buy so much food because of shopping impulse. And they waste so much food because they bought more than they needed. There is an economic term: Quantitative Eating which means finding a diet that works for each individual and preventing from the waste or obesity. Nowadays, this concept is not on the paper and it comes true. Liquid lunch is a new kind of food. It is a healthy, cheap drinking meal. Extracted from algal oil, soybeans and hyacinth beans, it has only around 400 calories, costs around $3 and is as nutritious as processed food and meat, providing energy for half of the day. A startup called Soylent sells such product. Some young consumers who try it say that they prefer it with both flavor and texture, however others say that Soylent makes them gassy. In conclusion, reducing the global food waste has a long way to go. Mutual efforts from human beings and technology definitely plays a role in it.
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