10 Jan 2013

Up to half the world's food wasted, report reveals

8:12 pm on 10 January 2013

A new report estimates that between 30% and 50% of all food produced in the world is never eaten.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers in Britain says poor harvesting and storage, along with overly-strict sell-by dates and consumer fussiness leads to what it describes as a tragic level of waste, the BBC reports.

The figures in the report are staggering, say its authors. The institution claims that while the world produces four billion tonnes of food each year, as much as two billion tonnes of it never reaches a human stomach.

The reasons vary. In some less developed countries, 80% of total rice production is lost because of poor farming practices and infrastructure.

In wealthier parts of the world, the big supermarkets often reject entire crops of perfectly edible fruit and vegetables because they aren't the right size or don't have the right appearance.