People starving and having not enough food globally may be due not to the lack of resources, but more in part to food that the average person wastes every day. Even halving food losses would potentially feed an additional billion people. More effectively using the food production chain and decreasing the amount of food losses will dramatically help maintain the planet’s natural resources as well as improve people’s lives.
On Oct. 10, 2012, researchers in Aalto University, Finland, have verified for the first time how many people could be fed by reducing food losses. The current world’s population is an estimated seven billion people, but if the current food losses could be halved, then an additional one billion can be fed. This is enough to feed the whole population of India once and this can be achieved in any region if the lowest loss percentage is achieved globally.
Annually 27 m3 of clean water, 0.031 hectares of agricultural land and 4.3 kilos of fertilizers per every inhabitant in the world is wasted in food losses.
According to Matti Kummu, post-doctoral researcher at Aalto University in Finland, “There isn’t enough clean water everywhere on Earth. Significantly more agricultural land cannot be cleared as well as certain raw material minerals for fertilizers are running low. At the same time, a quarter of the amount of calories in produced food is lost or wasted at different stages of food production chain, which results in unnecessary resources loss.”
Kummu also added that agriculture uses over 90 percent of the fresh water consumed by humans and most of the raw materials used in fertilizers.
More efficient food production and the reduction of food losses are very important matters for the environment as well as future food security. By halving the food losses, we could feed 8 billion people with the currently used resources, one billion over the current world’s population.