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World wastes 1.3 billion tons of food a year: UN report
Published on 13 May. 2011 12:50 AM IST
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About 1.3 billion tons of food is lost or wasted every year, which amounts to roughly one third of all the food produced for human consumption, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization report.
FAO report distinguished between food losses occurring at the production and harvest levels typical of developing countries, and food waste, which was more a problem in industrialized countries as both retailers and consumers have a tendency to throw away perfectly edible foodstuffs.
Findings highlighted that industrialized countries dissipate an average of 670 million tons of food per year while developing countries 630 million tons, Xinhua reports.
Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food - 222 million tonnes - as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa of 230 million tonnes, according to the report.
Per capita waste by consumers is 95 to 115kg a year in Europe and North America, while consumers in sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia each throw away only 6 to 11kg a year.
In contrast, food waste is more a of a problem in industrialised countries, most often caused by both retailers and consumers throwing perfectly edible foodstuffs into the trash.
The UN agency thus identified means by which nations must cut down on food waste to boost fight against famine, including more efficient harvest techniques and infrastructures to reduce resources squandering and clearer consumer information.
FAO also stressed that it is essential to change consumer attitudes, spread awareness on limited natural resources and strengthen the overall food chain.

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