Impact of Food Waste on the Environment

   The United Nations estimates that one in three people in the world do not have access to sufficient food to lead a healthy life an increase of 320 million people from 2020 to 2021 (811 million in 2020 to 2.37 billion in 2021).More people are reported to die from hunger every day than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.However, around one-third of the food that is produced globally is lost or wasted for a variety of reasons. Food wastage, which encompasses both food loss and food waste, is morally wrong and also results in significant financial losses and serious environmental harm.Food loss occurs primarily at the production stage as a result of inadequate skills, natural disasters, inadequate infrastructure, and poor practices. Also, customers purposefully throw away edible food after it degrades or is beyond its expiration date. Food waste can occasionally also occur as a result of oversupply in the market. On top of that, a lot of food is typically rejected by retailers since it doesn’t meet their requirements for quality and presentation. According to the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Food Waste Index Report 2021, households account for 43% of the world’s food waste, food services account for 26% of it, and retail accounts for 13%.

  Food Waste has a great  environmental impact, because we  have to take into consideration the energy and natural resources expended in processing, transporting, storing, and cooking it.Food waste would be third on a list of nations ranked by their greenhouse gas emissions, exactly behind the United States and China.Food waste that ends up in landfills produces a large amount of methane – a more powerful greenhouse gas than even CO2. For the uninitiated, excess amounts of greenhouse gasses such as methane, CO2 and chlorofluorocarbons absorb infrared radiation and heat up the earth’s atmosphere, causing global warming and climate change.Food waste represents a significant loss of freshwater and groundwater resources because agriculture uses 70% of the water consumed globally.The various species and organisms that make up an ecosystem are simply referred to as biodiversity. Our biodiversity suffers as a result of agriculture in general. Where there is a rise in the need for the production of animals, mono-cropping and turning our wild lands into pastures and useful agricultural terrains are widespread practices.The natural flora and animals existing are destroyed by deforestation and the conversion of our natural lands into non-arable land, often to the point of extinction.

  To address the issue of food waste, as with every other present threat to the environment, a global effort must be made. Farmers, individual consumers, commercial firms, governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector must all contribute to the solution to this problem.Better methods for gathering, storing, processing, and distributing food should be developed.By determining where waste occurs and taking action to address it, large eateries, supermarkets, retail stores, and individual customers can all lessen their “food footprint.”In order to avoid wasting edible food, consumers should also aim to purchase their food in accordance with a meal plan.

  Food waste is, sadly, one of the largest issues that mankind is now facing.Food waste is really, really bad for the environment.The causes of food waste or loss are numerous and occur throughout the food system, during production, processing, distribution, retail and food service sales, and consumption. Food that cannot be eaten by humans must be recycled. It can be used as home compost in consumers’ homes or for feeding cattle throughout the food producing process.