Reclaiming food loss into valuable gains

We have been taught since young to finish every bit of food on our plate; but reducing food waste goes much further than that.

By Agatha Wong

Angela Lu, president and general manager of Asia Pacific South at SIG

The issue of food loss is endemic and pervasive: all along the supply chain, from farmers to manufacturers, retailers to consumers, individuals participate in the act of discarding edible food. Whether it be for aesthetic reasons (in the case of retailers who might reject “ugly” products), or because there is simply too much to eat (for consumers who might be careless with their purchases), food waste is an astonishing issue with far-reaching consequences on the global economy and food system.

When more than 800 million people are going hungry every day despite there being more than enough food produced in the world to feed everyone, the time is nigh for us to reconsider our relationship with food, both in the fields and on our plates.

At its source, farmers can waste food through overproduction of seasonal crops and improper storage; researchers at the University of Santa Clara have approximated that 33% of produce are wasted before it even leaves the fields. Furthermore, meat production, which consumes 75 times more energy than corn production, also contributes to food loss. Seafood and fish production also compound to this issue, bringing a total of close to $1tn of economic consequences related to global food waste.

In light of these staggering figures, there is a pressing call for action when it comes to food waste management, particularly in ensuring that food is not lost at its origin, and as it heads down the production line. This is a view that is echoed by Angela Lu, president and general manager of Asia Pacific South at SIG.

The full article can be found here.