A new report by the World Resources Institute (WRI) with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation has quantified global food wastage nearly one-third of the food that is produced each year goes uneaten, costing the global economy over $940 billion.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that 32 percent of all food produced in the world was lost or wasted in 2009.
This estimate is based on weight. When converted into calories, global food loss and waste amounts to approximately 24 percent of all food produced. Essentially, one out of every four food calories intended for people is not ultimately consumed by them.
Food loss and waste have many negative economic and environmental impacts. Economically, they represent a wasted investment that can reduce farmers’ incomes and increase consumers’ expenses. Environmentally, food loss and waste inflict a host of impacts, including unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions and inefficiently used water and land, which in turn can lead to diminished natural ecosystems and the services they provide.
It is estimated that saving one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world, of which the highest number are in India.