UN Report Says 17 Percent of Food Is Wasted
The United Nations believes about 17 percent of the world's food goes to waste each year. That amounts to 931 million metric tons of food being thrown away from homes, stores and food companies.
The information comes from the U.N. Environment Program's Food Waste Index Report 2021. The report says food waste is not only a problem in rich countries like Britain or the United States. It happens in poor countries, too, where food supplies can go bad without cold storage. Most of the wasted food – 61 percent – comes from homes. The rest comes from stores and food service companies.
The U.N. is working on ways to reduce food waste and trying to learn how much food becomes unusable before it reaches people. It hopes the report will show countries some of the problems so their governments can try to fix them.
Inger Andersen is the Executive Director of UNEP. She said, "Reducing food waste would cut greenhouse gas emissions, slow the destruction of nature through land conversion and pollution." Additionally, cutting waste will reduce hunger that is expected to rise during the coronavirus pandemic.
Why should we care about food waste?
Researchers say food waste is a growing concern because of the large amount of land and energy required to produce food, raise animals and plant crops. They observe that forests are also being cleared to make space for more food production. If food waste is reduced, it might be possible to lessen the impact of its production on the world.
Some large problems exist with the food supply, but there are smaller reasons for waste. The report mentioned some of the small problems that could be fixed.
Sometimes stores offer reduced prices on larger amounts of food. When people buy too much food, they do not always use it before it goes bad. Also, the writing on food containers can be hard to understand. In some cases, the manufacturers put a date that shows when the food will be best to eat. Sometimes the food is still good for a number of days after the date, but people will throw it away.
Food administrators in the U.S. have asked manufacturers to label their products in a way that is easier for people to understand. In the U.S., the Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates a family of four wastes about $1,500 worth of food each year.
Richard Swannell is a co-writer of the UN report. He said people in rich countries think differently about wasting food than they used to. Just 40 or 50 years ago, most people could not afford to waste food. Now that people have more money, they are not as concerned. But Swannell does not think that is the right idea.
"Food is too important to waste," he said.
I'm Dan Friedell.
Prices change according to supply and demand.
I can't waste time on such frivolities.
Bombing had made roads and railways unusable.
He forced the country to collectivize agriculture.
5.Sometimes the food is still good for a number of days after the date, but people will throw it away.
a number of 一些
There are a number of different points of view on this issue.
I have a number of things to do today.
6.That amounts to 931 million metric tons of food being thrown away from homes, stores and food companies.
throw away 扔掉
I never throw anything away.
Why don't you throw it away?
该信息来自联合国环境规划署的《2021年食物浪费指数报告》。报告称，食物浪费的问题不仅仅出现在英国或美国等富裕国家 。这种情况也发生在贫穷国家，那里的食物供应因为没有冷藏会变质 。大部分被浪费的食物(61%)来自家庭 。剩下的部分来自商店和餐饮服务公司 。
英格·安德森（Inger Andersen）是联合国环境规划署的执行主任。她说：“减少食物浪费可以减少温室气体排放，减缓因土地转换和污染对自然造成的破坏 。”此外，减少食物浪费将减少饥饿人口，预计在新冠疫情期间饥饿人口将会增加 。
研究人员表示，由于生产食物、饲养动物和种植作物需要大量土地和能源，食物浪费的问题日益凸显。他们观察到，森林也在遭到砍伐，为更多的粮食生产腾出空间 。如果减少食物浪费，就有可能减轻食物生产对全球的影响 。
有时商店对大量的食物进行减价处理。当人们购买太多食物时，他们总是来不及消耗，食物就变质了 。此外，食物容器上的字迹也让人摸不到头脑 。在某些情况下，生产商会标明食品的最佳食用日期 。有时，过期几天的食物仍然可以食用，但人们还是会选择扔掉 。
理查德·斯万内尔(Richard Swannell)是这份联合国报告的联合作者。他表示，富裕国家的人们对浪费食物的看法与过去不同 。在四五十年前，大多数人还浪费不起食物 。现在人们的手头富裕了，也就没那么在意了 。但斯万内尔并不认为这是一个正确的想法 。