Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cutting food waste crucial to ensuring food security

Isaiah Esipisu in AlertNet: Sticking to what’s written on your shopping list, checking food expiry dates, cooking just enough but no more and a few other simple practices can help curb global food waste, which amounts to 1.3 billion tonnes of food every year, experts say. This is vital at a time when climate change and population growth are reducing the availability of food for millions of vulnerable people around the world, they add.

“With the World Bank warning of the possibility of a four-degrees-centigrade temperature rise by the end of the decade and an expected world population of nine billion by 2050, global food production and supply is going to be highly affected,” Dennis Garrity, United Nations drylands ambassador and senior fellow at the World Agroforestry Centre told AlertNet in Nairobi. “The time to act is now.”

There are 870 million hungry people in the world today, experts estimate, but droughts, floods, storms and climate-related plant diseases, among many other factors, continually reduce access to food. Now experts say that cutting the amount of food that goes to waste, both in the developed and developing world, is key to addressing this.

One of Africa’s food waste hotspots is the Dandora rubbish dump on the outskirts of Nairobi. The 30-acre piece of land receives 2,000 tonnes of solid waste every day, an uncertain share of it food waste. The presence of pigs, marabou storks, dogs and other animals – as well as human scavengers - indicates there is plenty to eat, however....

A landfill in Guatemala, shot by Surizar, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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