While one eight of the human population suffers from malnutrition, 1.6 billion tonnes of food worth c. 750 billion USD are thrown away annually. The figures come from the latest report published by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Food which has not been consumed would cover 1.4 billion hectares or 30% of farmland on Earth. To produce this food, it was necessary to use 250 km3 of water, an acutely lacking resource for inhabitants of many parts of the world. The quantity is the same as the annual water flow in the Volga and three times as big as the volume of Lake Geneva. Regrettably, such wasteful activity must lead to depletion of natural resources available to us.
Uneven access to food results in a situation in which the industrialized Asian countries which are also large agricultural producers, such as China, Japan and South Korea, waste the most vegetables (c. 11%) and cereals (c. 8%) in the world. At the same time, 13 million inhabitants of East Africa are in dire need of food aid.
Proper management of goods meant for immediate consumption ought to result in a more efficient use of the food produced. Such trend would firstly benefit the natural environment, and secondly help the local economy, provided that less food is thrown away. We ought to give this some serious consideration, starting as of today, from economical management of the contents of our fridges.