A new study has revealed that a staggering one-third of the world’s food supply is wasted each year, with fruits and vegetables having the highest wastage rates of any food products. The study published in the journal 'Plos One' found that an estimated 931 million metric tons of food, or 17% of total global food production, is wasted yearly at the retail and consumer levels. An additional 11% of food is lost during production, processing and distribution.
The environmental impact of food waste is significant, with the study estimating that the annual carbon footprint of wasted food is equivalent to the combined emissions of all the world’s cars. Additionally, food waste contributes to biodiversity loss, as land is cleared to produce food that is ultimately wasted. The economic impact of food waste is also significant, with the study estimating that the total cost of food waste at the retail and consumer levels is around $936 billion annually.
The scientists called for a global effort to reduce food waste, noting that the issue is particularly urgent given the increasing demand for food due to population growth and changing dietary habits. They suggested a range of interventions that could be taken to reduce food waste, including improving supply chain management, enhancing food storage and processing infrastructure, and educating consumers about the benefits of reducing food waste.
In conclusion, the study provides a stark reminder of the worldwide scale and impact of food waste. By reducing food waste, we can ensure that more food is available for those who need it while mitigating the impact of food production and distribution on the environment.
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