The Impact of Food Waste

Michelle Heath
The Impact of Food Waste

There is a movement afoot to ensure less food loss and waste in the world with the goals of reducing world hunger, ensuring more efficient land use and water resource management, and reducing the impacts on climate change.

1.3 billion tonnes of food production are wasted every year. That’s one-third of world food production

$990 billion USD of wasted food every year

820 million people are undernourished

11% of human-related methane comes from landfills. Most materials from landfills come from food waste.

Food loss and food waste              

Food loss or waste refers to food that is nutritious and safe for human consumption being wasted, lost and uneaten.

  • Food Loss – food lost to the supply chain during the production, storage, processing and distribution stages
  • Food Waste – food that is fit for consumption but not consumed and discarded

Land Use

50% of habitable land is used for agriculture.

Sources of food waste

Households are responsible for nearly 1/6th of food waste

Fresh water use

Only about 3 percent of all the water on the planet is fresh, and less than 1% is ready for human consumption.

  • Agriculture: ~70%
  • Industry: 20%
  • Domestic/household use: 10%.
  • Human consumption: Less than 1%

Waste matters and everyone can play a part in reducing food loss and waste.

Buy the ‘ugly’ produce, save leftovers, compost or donate to food banks. It all helps.