More than 78 million people go hungry every day, while 100 million meals are wasted: UN

More than a third of the world’s people are food insecure. Even in such a situation, food equal to one meal for 1 billion people is wasted every day. One-fifth of food is thrown away worldwide. These data have emerged in a report by the United Nations Environment Organization (UNEP).

According to UNEP’s Food Waste Index 2024 report on food waste, 105 million tons of food were wasted in 2022, which is about one-fifth of the food produced on the global market.

And about 19 percent of consumer food is wasted at the store, restaurant, and household level. And 13 percent of food is wasted in the supply chain from harvest to sale, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

This picture of food waste has been highlighted as a ‘global tragedy’ in the Food Waste Index report. It is said that when more than 78 million people in the world are not eating, hundreds of millions of tons of food are being thrown into the trash.

UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersson said in a statement that such wastage occurs because people are buying more food than they need. Besides, they cannot predict how much they can eat. There is food left over.

Highlighting such events as ‘environmental failure’, the United Nations report says that such waste is not ethical. Food waste is causing five times more global warming than carbon emissions from aviation.

This is the second report compiled by the United Nations on global food waste so far. The UN was assisted in the preparation of the report by the non-profit organization WRAP. It presents the most comprehensive picture yet of food waste.

WRAP officer Richard Swannell said, ‘I am shocked by this image. It is possible to feed about 800 million starving people every year with only the amount of food that is wasted in the world at one time.

According to the report, 28 percent of all food wasted in 2022 was wasted in food service systems such as restaurants, canteens, and hotels. Butchers and grocers wasted 12 percent of the food. But the most, i.e., 60 percent of food, was wasted in homes. Its amount is 63 crore, 10 lakh tons.

A big reason for this kind of waste, says Swannell, is that people are buying more food than they need. Also, they cannot predict how much they can eat. There is food left over.

So I said another thing. That is the expiration date. Produced food is spoiling because people mistakenly believe that their food has no shelf life.

The report also states that much food is not wasted in the developing world; rather, it is spoiled during transportation or due to a lack of refrigeration.