In 2050, over 9 billion people will live on this planet and feeding them will be a challenge. Increasing food availability has always been the main solution to achieve a food secured future.
Reducing food loss and waste can also help to alleviate poverty, while reducing pressure on the climate and water supply.
The UN estimates that 1⁄3rd of all food produced is lost or wasted. But where and how is food wasted?
- 56% occurs in the developed world, mostly at a consumption stage.
- 44% happens in the developing world, mostly at production, storage and handling stages.
The World Resource Institute says that empowering women at both production and consumption levels is a good start. Women comprise 41% of the agricultural workforce worldwide and are responsible for almost 90% of the time spent on household food preparation.
During the handling and storage stages, implementing small technological advancements can make a difference. Plastic storage bags, small metal silos and plastic crates are some examples. At consumption, food redistribution or donation programs and rethinking portion sizes are a good method.
If the world was committed to cut the global rate of food waste in half, food shortage would dicrease by around 22%.
In Europe, the European Commission has already promised to reduce the continent’s food waste by 50% by 2020. But NGOs are calling on the EU to include it as a main priority in its "circular economy strategy.”