Lesson 2: World problems caused by food waste

  • Environmental problems: One of the first data we find within the consequences of food loss is the volume of water wasted for its production. We are talking about a total of 8,060 m³/s each year. Added to this are the 3,300 million tons of greenhouse gases that are discharged into the planet’s atmosphere during the process, plus those produced with their discharge.
  • Economic problems: According to the FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in addition to these environmental impacts, this food waste represents a loss of more than 75,000 million dollars each year. Another problem is the global management costs produced by hospital waste. It is estimated that the average loss due to food waste is around €2/kg, not counting the costs of employees and the time and energy to prepare each day’s rations. This would give a total loss of around €10,000/year.
  • Social problems: It is not very difficult to imagine what better food management would entail in third world countries. The problem of food waste is much closer to us than we think.For example, in Spain, more than two million people eat exclusively from soup kitchens. Of them, the majority are minors who, once the school year is over, do not have the necessary food for their growth and health.

Food Waste: The Hidden Cost of the Food We Throw Out