FOOD WASTE INDEX (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Food Security)

News-CRUX-10     29th March 2024        

Context: The world wasted an estimated 19 per cent of the food produced globally in 2022, or about 1.05 billion metric tons, according to a UN Environment Programme's Food Waste Index Report.

UN Environment Programme's Food Waste Index Report

  • About: It presents the most extensive compilation of food waste data to date, including thorough analysis and modeling.
  • Co-authored by: UNEP and Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), an international charity.
  • Objective: It is designed to bolster the objectives of SDG 12.3.
  • New Estimate of Global Food Waste: The report generates a fresh estimate of global food waste, offering valuable insights into the magnitude of the issue.

Key Findings

  • Global Food Waste Statistics: The 2021 report estimated that approximately 17% of the food produced worldwide in 2019, amounting to 931 million metric tons (1.03 billion tons), was wasted.
  • Caution on Direct Comparisons: Authors of the report cautioned against direct comparisons due to insufficient data from many countries, highlighting the need for more comprehensive and standardized reporting methods.
  • Per Capita Food Waste: The analysis revealed that each person wastes approximately 79 kilograms (about 174 pounds) of food annually, translating to at least 1 billion meals wasted worldwide daily.
  • Primary Sources of Food Waste: The majority of food waste, about 60%, was attributed to households, followed by food service (28%), and retailers (12%).