• Michal Garvey

Celebrating #FoodHeroes đź‘Ź

We started this platform on International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste and followed up on World Food Day. This year’s theme is #FoodHeroes and we want to acknowledge you as a Food Hero for joining us here. When it comes to food, we have a lot to celebrate, but we also have a lot of work to do. So for our first post, I want to start off by laying out some of the facts that make up the food waste problem. Many of you will be all too aware of the size of the issues, but for others, much of this will be new and that’s totally fine by us, I hope we can help fill in some gaps. Globally, we waste one-third of the food that is produced for human consumption. That’s about 1.3 billion tonnes of food each year, that just gets thrown away. It’s an amount that most of us can’t even begin to visualise. The Sky Tower weighs around 21 million tonnes, so we waste over 60 Sky Towers of food each year. 40% of fruits and vegetables don’t make it to a plate. This might be because it grew naturally in an odd shape, it didn’t make it to the required size, or it’s too big. It may have a discoloured spot or its skin’s been damaged by brushing up against its neighbour. 1.4 billion hectares or 28% of the world’s agricultural land is used to grow food that is wasted. That’s the total land area of China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan combined. 250km3 of water or 25% of our freshwater usage is used to grow food that is wasted. This amount could cover all of the world's household water needs Wasted food emits about 3.3 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases annually. Total global greenhouse gas emissions are around 50 gigatonnes. If food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest emitter of Greenhouse Gases behind only the United States and China. In all honesty, I’m not the biggest fan of this comparison, as we’re comparing a global industry to the 195 countries in the world. But I do think it can be useful in understanding the scale of the problem hence my decision to include it here. Hopefully, this gives you a bit of insight into the scale of the problem. Personally, I find these stats the hardest to grapple with as the numbers are so big and unrelatable. From here we’ll drill down into parts that will hopefully be easier to understand. *Statistics in this post were sourced from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

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