Waste Not, Want Not

Every year, we waste or lose 1.3 billion metric tons of food – one-third of the world’s annual food production. The figure is all the more unfathomable, given that, alongside this massive wastage and loss, 840 million people experience chronic hunger on a daily basis.

ROME – Every year, we waste or lose 1.3 billion metric tons of food – one-third of the world’s annual food production. The sheer scale of the number makes it almost impossible to grasp, no matter how one approaches it. Try to imagine 143,000 Eiffel Towers stacked one on top of another, or a pile of 10 trillion bananas.

The figure is all the more unfathomable, given that, alongside this massive wastage and loss, 840 million people experience chronic hunger on a daily basis. Many millions more suffer from “silent hunger” – malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies.

For the more economically minded, here is another number: food wastage and loss, expressed in producer prices, costs roughly $750 billion per year. If we were to consider retail prices and the wider impacts on the environment, including climate change, the figure would be much higher.

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