FAO estimates that 931 million tons were wasted globally in 2019, equivalent to 400 billion U.S. dollars; at the same time, 811 million people suffer from hunger.
Mexico City (apro).- FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), urgently urges countries to reduce the amount of food that is wasted because hunger and malnutrition are common in all parts of the world.
The agency estimates that 931 million tonnes or 17% of all food produced in 2019 went to waste in households, retail shops, restaurants and other food industry participants.
811 million people are currently facing hunger, and 132 millions face insecurity and lack of food due to the covid-19 epidemic.
He said that the annual food losses are estimated at 400 billion dollars.
These figures were highlighted by the United Nations agency on the eve International Food Loss and Waste Awareness Day (September 29).
He stressed that unconsumed food is a waste, which can include land, water and energy as well as seeds, plants, and other inputs to production.
Nancy Aberto, the FAO Economic and Social Development Department’s deputy director, stated at a Geneva press conference that the problem with food waste is not only confined to rich countries.
“Food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition affect all countries in the world, and no country is immune. An estimated 811 million people experience hunger, and 2 billion suffer from micronutrient deficiency, namely vitamin or mineral deficiencies. He said that millions of children are stunted, wasted, and this is a serious form of malnutrition.
A majority of people living in Europe and other regions do not have access, due to high food costs, to a healthy diet.
He suggested that countries must use new tools to reduce waste. For example, new packaging can prolong the shelf life and smartphones have the ability to connect producers and consumers, shortening the period between harvest and consumption.
Reduced food loss and waste will help improve agricultural food systems, increase food security, and improve food quality. This will reflect in nutrition.
It will also “significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions, pressure on land resources and water resources”
FAO encourages rapid action to meet Sustainable Development Goal 12, which aims to ensure sustainable consumption by 2030, and to reduce the per capita global food waste.
He stated that this is possible only if the entire society participates: individuals, national and local governments, businesses and individuals all prioritize actions in this direction.
FAO reminded people that agriculture products are vital for food security and nutrition three months after the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables ended.
Qu Dongyu, FAO Director General, said at the start of the year that it was very appropriate to promote healthy eating habits to strengthen the immune system in light of the current global health crisis.