In Brief 2/2015: Throwing food away is a waste
Natural resources are too precious to be squandered
When we put items into our shopping trolley at the supermarket, we seldom consider where the food actually comes from. We are just as unmindful when we throw some of it away at home.
Huge amounts of waste also accumulate before the food reaches the consumer, in the field, during production, and at the supermarket – a scandal considering that 795 million people are suffering from hunger throughout the world.
Year after year, 1.3 billion tons of food ends up on the rubbish dump. A third of what is produced world-wide goes lost because it was damaged during production or transportation or rotted away in warehouses, shops or households. Added to this are thousands of tons that do not enter the statistics because they are left unused in the fields or do not fulfil the so-called cosmetic standards of the supermarkets. It is not only money that we are wasting with this, but precious natural resources as well.
Today, we are consuming far more food than we are growing ourselves. Since farmland is used for energy plants or goods for exporting, according to the Federal Office of Statistics (Destatis), two thirds of the cropland needed to feed German consumers is now abroad. One might assume that this could be an advantage for the people in the developing countries, where cultivation is increasingly taking place. But this is far from the case. Instead of benefiting from the sale of their produce, it is particularly smallholders who are often driven off their land so that it can be turned into plantations.
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