Nearly half of the world's food ends up as waste, report finds

From Global development | The Guardian Thu Jan 10 2013, 06:00:01

Figures from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers show as much as 2bn tonnes of food never makes it on to a plate

As much as half of all the food produced in the world - equivalent to 2bn tonnes - ends up as waste every year, engineers warned in a report published on Thursday.

The UK's Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) blames the "staggering" new figures in its analysis on unnecessarily strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one free and Western consumer demand for cosmetically perfect food, along with "poor engineering and agricultural practices", inadequate infrastructure and poor storage facilities.

In the face of United Nations predictions that there could be about an extra 3 billion people to feed by the end of the century and growing pressure on the resources needed to produce food, including land, water and energy, the IME is calling for urgent action to tackle this waste.

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