Wasting food is an ethical concern since large number of people suffer from hunger worldwide.
Prabhroop Kaur, Student, Jindal School of Environment & Sustainability, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Govind Singh, Associate Professor, Jindal School of Environment & Sustainability, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Nearly one in ten people worldwide suffers from hunger. Goal 2 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is to end hunger, but we are failing in our efforts. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), eight per cent of the world population will continue to suffer from hunger in 2030, the target year for achieving the zero-hunger goal. The world population suffering from hunger in 2015, when these goals were adopted, was also eight per cent.
Armed conflicts, climate change and Covid-19 are some key factors behind failing efforts to combat global hunger. With more than 800 million people going to bed on an empty stomach, the basic tenets of humanity are under question. The global hunger crisis is not due to lack of supply or food unavailability but is largely an issue of price, purchasing power and food wastage. The FAO estimates that one-third of the total food produced on the planet ends up in a landfill.
Food wastage is an issue of concern in both developing and developed countries. Food wastage occurs more at the retail and consumer end in developed countries. In developing countries, post-harvest and processing losses are more prominent. Wasting food is an ethical concern since large number of people suffer from hunger worldwide. It is also a key contributor to the global hunger crisis and is detrimental to environment and climate.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, there is more food in landfills than any other single material. Food scraps do not easily degrade in landfills and get tightly compacted creating anaerobic conditions around them. In the absence of oxygen, the degrading food waste releases methane which is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) more dangerous than carbon dioxide. The global warming potential of methane is several times that of carbon dioxide.
Published in: The Statesman
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