Could reducing food loss feed the 870 million hungry people around the world?
In a recent Finnish study that can be viewed as both hopeful as well as saddening, researchers estimate that just by reducing the world’s food loss by half, we could reduce world hunger. In fact, we could keep an additional 1 billion people around the world from going hungry.
If this is indeed correct, it would mean that by halving the world’s food losses, we would be able to easily feed the United Nation’s estimated 870 million people around the world who do not have enough to eat. Essentially, we have a food distribution problem rather than a food shortage problem around the world.
The researchers note that there are not enough resources (clean water, land that can be cleared for agriculture, and certain minerals) that can be used to produce more food globally; however, with 25 percent of all the calories in produced food lost or discarded, the difference can be made up.
The study’s researchers say, “Reducing the food losses and waste would thus be an important step towards increased food security, and would also increase the efficiency of resource use in food production.”
Reduce food waste in your everyday life
We can do a lot in our day-to-day life to help reduce food waste, including:
- buying only what we need (meal planning can help determine exactly how much food we need to buy in our weekly grocery shopping)
- taking or requesting smaller portions, so less will be discarded
- using up everything in our fridges by taking the Crisper Challenge
- urging our local grocery stores and favourite restaurants to take part in a waste reduction program, and to donate extras to food banks or shelters