Do we really waste food?
As a country we really do and we’re not the only ones. A lot of research of the last 10 years has found out a lot about how, where and when food being grown for humans to eat is not making it to our tables. About a third of the food grown in the world doesn’t get eaten.
Food loss and waste in industrialised countries are as high as in developing countries, but their distribution is different:
- In developing countries, over 40% of food losses happen after harvest and during processing
- In industrialised countries, over 40% occurs at retail and consumer level
The European Commission estimates some 90 million tonnes of food meant for human consumption is lost along the supply chain in the EU, or about 180 kg per person. This food waste occurs at home, and at every step along the food production and supply chain – from farms to retailers’ shelves. There’s an EU programme called Fusions which is trying out lots of different ways to change this in countries all over Europe
In the UK
Since 2007 The Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap) has done a lot of work to find out how much food we waste in the UK, where that comes from and put in place lots of different things that can be done to reduce it. Between 2007 and 2012 the amount of food wasted reduced by 21% but we still have some work to do. Here are some of the stunning facts and figures their research found.
In west London
We had a look to see what was heading to landfill on our waste train and found than one third of the weight of the train was food waste. In 2011, almost 77,000 tonnes of food waste was sent to landfill at a cost of £7.6 million.
Since then there have been lots of initiatives in west London to help residents reduce food waste and save themselves money, read all about them in our waste prevention reports.
Food waste diary
Does food find its way in to your bin? Not sure? Want to check? Try filling in our 7 day food waste diary (1575 downloads) to see.