Nearly Half of Planet's Food Ends Up in the Trash
As much as 2.2 billion tons
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2013 8:53 AM CST

(Newser) – If you're bummed by today's gloomy news, this won't do much to raise your spirits. A new report out today outlines the "staggering" amount of food wasted around the globe each year: as much as 50% of what's produced. The UK's Institution of Mechanical Engineers estimates that between 1.3 billion and 2.2 billion tons of the 4.4 billion tons produced each year "never reaches a human stomach." It lays the blame on a range of factors, from perfectly edible crops rejected by supermarkets because they fail to meet cosmetic appearance standards to overly strict sell-by dates, reports the Guardian.

America's love of couponing probably doesn't help, either: The report also targets sales that encourage consumers to buy multiples of a given product; the perishable ones often meet a trash-can fate. In the case of third-world and developing countries, inefficient harvesting and storage contribute to the figure. And waste begets waste: As much as 550 billion cubic meters of water is used on crops that end up in the trash. (Click to see the effect such waste has on your wallet.)

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Showing 3 of 20 comments
Jan 13, 2013 4:26 PM CST
Somebody has to feed the bears & other critters! Look at the plastic bags in the dumps, and you can't burn trash anymore in the back yard, idiots burn plastic! Not to mention that w/ all the color paper in packages is full of toxins, not good to burn for that reason either. Need to get back to basics somewhat, bulk stores and bring your own containers!
Jan 10, 2013 1:21 PM CST
Start dumpster diving Africa!
Jan 10, 2013 12:32 PM CST
The other half ends up in the toilet.