food waste accounts for %10 of all greenhouse gas emissions / نسیم صبح فردا

Food waste accounts for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions

 Farms are wasting twice as much food as we thought

Around 2.5 billion metric tons of food is wasted on farms each year—that’s nearly twice as much as in previous estimates. When added together with all the other food that is never eaten—from excess produce on supermarket shelves to the strawberries rotting in the back of your fridge—around 40% of all the food that is grown globally is ultimately tossed out.

That’s a major problem for the climate: “Driven to Waste,” the report from World Wildlife Fund and the U.K. supermarket chain Tesco that published these numbers, suggests that food waste alone is responsible for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions. (The entire airline industry, by contrast, represents around 1.9% of emissions.) Some of the emissions happen in landfills or fields, where rotting food releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

But most of the environmental impact comes from growing the food. Fertilizer takes large amounts of energy to produce, and releases emissions on fields. Forests are chopped down to plant crops and raise animals, and the land can’t be reforested if it’s being farmed. The amount of water used to grow wasted food could fill more than 300 million Olympic-size swimming pools.

So far, only 11 of the 192 climate plans that countries have submitted under the Paris climate agreement mention food waste. But it’s a solvable problem at each stage of the journey, from farms to kitchens. Restaurants, for example, can shrink food waste just by serving smaller portions so diners are less likely to leave food on their plates, or partner with food delivery apps to get extra food to food banks. Grocery stores can use new technology that automatically changes the prices on food so it sells before it has to be thrown out.

And since food waste on farms has been underestimated in the past, it’s another place where intervention is important. A variety of solutions can help on farms, including increasing demand for so-called ugly produce that supermarkets used to reject. Project Drawdown, a list of the best ways to tackle climate change, includes reducing food waste as one of the most impactful solutions. The new report suggests that governments should aim to cut food waste in half by 2030.


Farms are wasting 1 billion tons of food. That’s a disaster for the climate


About 2.5 billion metric tons of food is wasted around the world each year, roughly half of which is lost on farms including in Europe and the United States. That’s having a huge impact on the climate.

A report published Wednesday by the World Wildlife Fund and UK grocery retailer Tesco (TSCDF) reveals that the amount of food lost is nearly double previous estimates by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, which last conducted an analysis of total waste from farm to fork in 2011.

Food lost on farms amounts to 1.2 billion metric tons, with a further 931 million metric tons wasted by retailers and consumers. The remainder is lost during transport, storage, manufacturing and processing.

The updated figures indicate that 40% of all food produced goes uneaten, according to the study, which attempts to quantify the amount of food wasted on farms for the first time in a decade.

“We have known for years that food loss and waste is a huge problem that can be minimized, which in turn could reduce the impact of food systems on nature and climate,” Pete Pearson, global food loss and waste initiative lead at WWF said in a statement.

“This report shows us the problem is likely bigger than we had thought,” he added. Bottom of Form

According to the study, food waste accounts for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions, higher than a previous estimate of 8%.

That’s the equivalent of nearly twice the annual emissions produced by all the cars driven in the United States and Europe, where in recent days raging wildfires and catastrophic floods have served as a painful reminder of the grave threats posed by the climate crisis.

“Producing food uses a huge amount of land, water and energy, so wasted food significantly impacts climate change,” the report said.

Despite its outsized effect on the environment, just 11 of the national carbon plans submitted by 192 signatories to the Paris climate agreement include measures to address food loss and waste.

Most of the plans that do come from African nations tackling post-harvest losses, even though farming in more industrialized nations, with higher levels of mechanization, is a bigger contributor to food waste than previously thought.

Richer countries in Europe, North America and Asia contribute 58% of wasted harvests globally despite having only 37% of the global population, according to the report. Yet efforts to reduce food waste in wealthier countries tend to focus on retail and consumption.

Some 2.5 billion tonnes of food is lost on farms or wasted by retailers and consumers each year.

“Farm-stage food loss is a significant but overlooked food waste hotspot,” the report said. The reasons for the waste include a disconnect between markets and farmers, which can lead to mismatches in the volume of production, the types of crops planted and the timing of harvest.

Unfair trading practices and the higher priority given to exported crops by farmers and governments over those for domestic consumption are also factors.

The report calls on governments and the food industry to set food waste reduction targets, measure and report waste and devise strategies to address it within operations and supply chains.

Tesco CEO Ken Murphy said that several of the retailer’s suppliers will report on their own farm food loss and waste for the first time this year, “helping us to tackle waste in the earliest parts of our supply chain.” The company has been working with 71 of its largest global suppliers to reduce food waste, reporting a reduction of more than 40% when compared to a 2016-2017 baseline, Murphy added.

More Than 1 Billion Tons Of Food Was Wasted In 2019, UN Report Finds

About 1.02 billion tons of food was wasted globally in 2019 and roughly %17 of food produced for human consumption goes to waste each year, far more than prior research has indicated, according to a United Nations report published Thursday.

Individual households were responsible for most of the food waste, accounting for %61 of the total, the UN Environment Programme report found.

Foodservice accounted for 26%, while 13% was attributable to retail waste.

Given limited data availability and variable measurement approaches, the UN researchers said their estimate likely falls short of the actual amount of global waste.

Food waste has become a more pressing issue due to the environmental toll of food production: If food waste were a country, it would be the third-biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, behind only China and the United States, said Inger Andersen, the UN Environment Programme’s executive director.

Source: FastCompany و WorldWildlifeFund

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