Each person on Earth throws away about 79 kilograms of food each year

Each person on Earth throws away about 79 kilograms of food each year

The United Nations has released the Food Waste Index Report 2024, which provides data on food wastage in 2022.

The report was prepared by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) on the eve of Zero Waste Day, which is celebrated on March 30.

“Households on all continents lost more than 1 billion servings of food per day during 2022 while 783 million people (approximately 10% of the world’s population – ed.) were exposed to hunger and a third of humanity faced food insecurity,” said a press release behind the report.

In particular, 150 million children under the age of 5 suffer from stunted growth and development due to lack of critical nutrients in their diet.

Each person on Earth throws away about 79 kilograms of food each year

“In 2022, 10.5 billion tons of food waste (including unsuitable food) was generated, which equates to 132 kilograms per capita and almost a fifth of all food available to consumers. Of the total amount of wasted food, 60% is at the household level, food service is responsible for 28% and retail is responsible for 12%,” reports UNEP.

According to UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen, wasting food is a “global tragedy” that, among other things, negatively affects the climate and the environment.

“The good news is that we know: if countries prioritize this issue, they can significantly reduce food loss and waste, reduce climate impacts and economic losses, and accelerate progress towards global goals,” she said.

The UN cites data showing that food waste produces between 8 and 10 (agriculture contributes 9.4% according to the latest data) of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, nearly five times the amount from aviation. They also cause biodiversity loss by occupying nearly one-third of the world’s land area suitable for agriculture.

The consequences of food and waste losses for the global economy are estimated at about 1 trillion dollars.

UNEP cites examples such as Japan and the UK, which have managed to reduce food losses by 31% and 18% respectively. The UN program monitors the progress of countries, having set a goal to halve food losses by 2030.

VIDEO. Why are so Many People going Hungry? | World Hunger | FAO Explainer | United Nations.