A full 30 percent of all food produced in the world each year is wasted or lost — about 1.3 billion tons of it.
Europeans and North Americans waste between 95 and 115 kilograms of food apiece each year. Those living in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia waste much, much less — between 6 and 11 kilograms per person. All in all, the developed world wastes 10 times more food than the developing one.
Most of us that are fortunate enough to have enough food on our plates are guilty of food waste at one point or another. The celery that goes bad in your veggie crisper, the remainder of your sandwich at a restaurant, and the loaf of bread that goes moldy on your kitchen counter are all contributors to the massive epidemic of food waste.
Restaurants and supermarkets are also contributors.
One report by California Watch and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC found that many retail grocery chains are more likely to throw away fruits, vegetables, roasts and hams rather than donate them to food pantries. Likewise with restaurants, which in California alone throw away tens of thousands of tons of edible food every year.
How to Avoid Food Waste in Your Home
The FAO report found that people in rich countries generally buy more food than they need, then end up throwing away the excess. They noted that “generally speaking, consumers fail to plan their food purchases properly … that means they often throw food away when ‘best-before’ dates expired.”
I’ve long stated that planning your meals is important for a number of reasons, one of which is reducing the amount of food that will go to waste, since you’ll only buy what you need each time you visit the store.
It will also go a long way to help you raise the nutritional content of your meals, as lack of planning combined with time constraints tend to be the number one reason for poor eating habits.
I recommend buying your food locally, preferably from a small organic farming operation you can visit and inspect for yourself. Not only will this guarantee you the freshest foods, giving you a few extra days of leeway before they spoil, this practice is also the most environmentally friendly, leaving the tiniest carbon footprint.
The solution to waste is NOT to load up on more processed or canned foods simply because you can store them until the end of time. Their extreme shelf life comes at a high price, as they are often loaded with chemical preservatives. Remember, the fresher your foods are to start with, the longer they’ll be safe to eat, so choose small amounts of the freshest foods you can find and eat them as soon as possible.
Read more on this at Dr.Mercola.com