“Over half the food produced today is lost, wasted or discarded as a result of inefficiency in the human-managed food chain. There is evidence in the report, (The Environmental Food Crisis: Environment’s role in averting future food crises) that the world could feed the entire projected population growth alone by becoming more efficient while also ensuring the survival of wild animals, birds and fish on this planet.”
Achim Steiner, Director of United Nations Environment Programme. (ENEP) (Wikipedia.)
To me this could be one of the most illuminating statements of the 21st century. Why did I see this in Wikipedia and not on a £5 note or a $1 bill? Obviously the politicians have not read the report or understand the significance of the statement. It’s ironic that we spend billions (£ $) through charities’ on trying to feed the poor around the world at the same time wasting nearly half the food produced. We have the technology to feed all of us; so why do politicians not show some initiative.
This is in essence a story of politics. The global game of geopolitics is what is holding the whole process up. In addition people fighting in their little blind alleys affecting nothing. In a few years most activists will go home, or get a job or find a partner and the energy and enthusiasm is directed elsewhere or they become (ick) politicians. Meanwhile, the politicians, aware of the time-span-activation-meter, just keep peddling the same old same old and bagging the dosh. Who’s the idiot?
Charities beat out on a daily basis the same tune, to donate X amount or some child will die. It’s an in your face constant reminder that poverty will not vanish without a heavy push. However, I have not seen an advertisement about food waste. I walk past various charity shops and never see a poster about food waste. Nor have I ever received a flyer on the subject through my door. Clearly, food waste is not a priority, or more damning they don’t believe it can be solved. Can that be true that there is no resolution to the scandal of food waste?
We spend billions (£ $) annually trying to end the dire situation of children’s welfare. Meanwhile we dump millions of tonnes of food into landfill which then spews out millions of tonnes of methane gas into the atmosphere. In doing so, we have created and continue to do so, a massive double cost which was, and is, entirely unnecessary waste.
Why can’t charities fight a two prong battle, at once feed the poor as necessary but point out the absurdity of the waste that goes on under our noses. We are the real culprits; we toss food away and put some money in the charity can. Is there a psychoanalyst in the house? I would like to see a poster in every charity shop window helping to make us all aware.
Create awareness and you begin to create solutions.
Unfortunately there is no end in sight; we are swamped in food waste. As already indicated, one-third of food produced is lost, that is diabolical but then add the cost of the resources needed to transport and distribute it to our homes and then onto the landfill. We are talking of astronomical sums of dosh (money) e.g. $680 billion for industrialized countries and $310bn for developing nations. What could charities do with that kind of money?
A UN study carried out by the Swedish Institute for Food & Biotechnology (2011) estimated that 1.3bn tonnes of food are tossed every year. This analysis has been backed up more recently by a study by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (UK) in 2013. This report suggests that between 30%/50% or 1.2bn-2bn tonnes of all food produced remains uneaten. (Wikipedia) Absolutely staggering!
Can you take another blast of facts or do you need more time to chew on the last load?
An estimated 8.3 million hectares of land (rain forest) is needed to maintain the food levels to suit the industrial countries. (www.tristanstuart.co.uk) Agricultural and land use changes contribute 30% of greenhouse gases globally. (UN)Staggering! My pet word at the moment is, you’ve guessed it, staggering.
Hordes upon hordes of activists: stomp, march, rant and chant and generally run around like headless chickens demanding an end to all manner of things. They wear their association like a merit badge, much like gang members. Perhaps it’s time they got off their hobby-horse to focus on one cause, a cause that can benefit the whole of society. It might be time that we all stopped thinking ‘me’ and put a little more emphasis on ‘we’ as a global population.
If activists truly want politicians to rise from their slumber and think people rather than self then they must do the same. To fight food waste requires a campaign that is global in nature, concentrated on the single issue and has the energy, enthusiasm and power of you.
There are many pet campaigns out there aided and abetted by the bandwagoners or perhaps better described as sheep; it’s the instant thrill seekers, they are the ‘self’ brigade. Will it change anything? Not one iota. Can their number be a positive, that’s an unequivocal, yes.
If Achim Steiner is only half right then a campaign to end food waste is still a runner, still a very significant step forward. We have the facts, we have the hungry people and you have the power at your fingertips to create, to sculpt a beautiful solution.