Half of world's meals go into the bin

Half of world's meals go into the bin

Experts have revealed that half of the food produced in the world is actually being thrown away every year.

According to a report, as much as two billion tonnes is wasted just because of overly strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one-free offers and consumer fussiness, Daily Express reported Thursday.

Up to 30 percent of the vegetables in Britain are not harvested because their physical appearance fails to match the severe demands of the supermarkets.

According to a report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, an independent scientific body, half of the food purchased in Europe and the US is thrown away as needless waste while elsewhere there are other problems like storage.

“The amount of food wasted is staggering,” says Tim Fox, of the institution. “This could be used to feed the world’s growing population - as well as those in hunger today.”

“The reasons for this situation range from poor engineering and agricultural practices, inadequate transport and storage infrastructure through to supermarkets demanding cosmetically perfect foodstuffs,” he added.

Wastage of food in India

India stands out for its glaring lack of infrastructure and food storage facilities, says the report, adding 21 million tonnes of wheat — equivalent to the entire production of Australia — goes waste in the country.

“Considerably greater levels of tonnage loss exist in larger developing nations, such as India for example, where about 21 million tonnes of wheat annually perishes due to inadequate storage and distribution, equivalent to the entire production of Australia,” said the ‘Global Food Waste Not Want Not’ report, released here.

“In neighbouring Pakistan, losses amount to about 16 per cent of production, or 3.2 million tonnes annually, where inadequate storage infrastructure leads to widespread rodent infestation problems,” it said.

At least 40 per cent of all fruit and vegetable is lost in India between the grower and consumer due to lack of refrigerated transport, poor roads, inclement weather and corruption.

According to the latest survey, wastage tends to move up the distribution chain as the standard of development improves and regional and national transport, storage and distribution facilities fail to match the improvements made at the farm level.

This is a particular issue in India, which requires massive investments in the food logistics chain.

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