Everybody knows that wasting food is bad, but in reality how bad is it? Food waste is a global problem with drastic environmental consequences. Today is estimated that a third of the food production goes wasted. Let’s translate it: 1.3 billion fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, seafood, and grains that either never leave the farm, get lost or spoiled during distribution or are thrown away in hotels, grocery stores, restaurants, schools, or home kitchens. This problem leads to the excessive use of natural resources and the emission of greenhouse gases, putting the planet under strain. In this article, we will guide you through the main impact of food wastage on our planet, and how we can prevent them:
Producing food requires a considerable amount of resources such as water, land, energy, and labor. When food is wasted, all these resources go to waste as well. For instance, an enormous amount of water is used to grow cultivation and animals, and energy is consumed during the transportation, packaging, and refrigeration process. Here are some examples of how much water it takes to produce some of our daily staples :
Food waste contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, as it can be:
Sustainability pill: After fossil fuels and livestock, landfills are the third-largest emitter of methane. Food waste alone represents 8% of total global greenhouse (GHG emissions).
Moreover, emissions are generated throughout the entire food supply chain, from production to transportation to disposal. Overall, emissions from the food system as a whole, represent up to 37% of total global human-induced GHG emissions.
To meet the growing demand for food, large areas of forests and natural habitats are cleared for agriculture. Greenpeace estimated that 80% of global deforestation is a result of agricultural production. Moreover, this phenomenon is linked to a growing demand for animal-derived products, where the so-called “animal-agricultural” is responsible for approximately 60% of direct global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Deforestation not only contributes to climate change but also leads to the loss of biodiversity. By reducing food waste and supporting sustainable agriculture practices, we can help protect valuable ecosystems and wildlife habitats.
As we previously mentioned intensive agriculture and farming, are aggressive on the planet. Therefore, to keep up with the demand the food industry often involves the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and antibiotics. These chemicals can lead to:
By wasting less food, we can decrease the demand for such intensive agricultural and farming practices, contributing to have to healthier soils and cleaner water sources.
In WinSustainably we want to help you to make a difference for a better and greener world. Follow us on social media (Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and LinkedIn); we provide daily suggestions to save up food and adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle. Here are some practical tips to reduce your food waste:
Pro tip: if you live in the UAE download WIN Sustainably, the app redirects unsold food from your favorite spot to you, for a cheaper price! Choose pick-up or delivery, and enjoy your best sustainable meal from home.
In conclusion, the environmental impact of food waste is a pressing concern that requires collective action. By understanding the consequences of food waste and adopting simple practices in our daily lives, we can significantly reduce our contribution to this problem. Using small tips, as the one previously mentioned we can make a difference. Join the WIN Sustainably community and let's make a conscious commitment to reducing food waste and preserving our planet's precious resources. Together, we can create a sustainable world for all.