Food crisis is looming but our trash bins are full of wasted food!

This audio was created using Microsoft Azure Speech Services

Being part of a traditional French culture that places a high priority on the enjoyment of food, it’s hard to imagine the subject of food waste.  However, according to the many different analysis and types of food, there is a well known fact that between 40-60% of the world’s food production will end up in the trash can instead of on a plate.

How is this possible?  Where are we loosing all this food?

To see where food is being wasted we can start at the beginning of the food chain and then go upstream.  Food is being wasted even before leaving the fields, if it’s not the right color or shape it never makes it on the truck to the processing plant.  This is where more food is rejected, if a few tomatoes on the pallet have gone bad, they all get rejected.  If the milk analysis shows too much water added to make the volume good, the entire load is discarded.

In addition, we see more food being rejecting during the actual processing phase.  Food packaging issues is another area of concern, with 2-3% of bottles typically trashed in the factories for labeling positioning issues and they just go into the trash according to one packaging leader inGermany.

Transport from the plant to distribution centers and supermarkets are another source of damages.  Then finally at home, it is very frequent that we do not finish a portion of the food we bought, put it in the fridge for another day and then finally trash it.

These looses occurring all along the food chain are troubling, not only when you think of the amount of food being wasted, but what about the 1 Billion people that go hungry.  And the demand for food will grow even larger as the worldwide population passes the 7 Billion mark and a forecast of 9 Billion for 2050.

More and more of us are moving to large cites and become more dependent on process food.  Agricultural lands are being replaced by buildings and food habits are evolving to be more refined for processed food.  How are we going to feed everybody?

One readily available solution could be to reduce food wastes by more care on the recycling, processing, transport and finally more size adapted food packaging.

Does this seam to you a good possibility; does this way of progress make sense?

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  • Individually, one can excercise portion control.

    • Eric Bonsignour

      11 years ago

      Yes indeed ! Thanks for sharing,

      Today some food producers are working to define the exact packaging size for one reasonable portion. Not an easy chalange because it depend of the peoples “size”, culture, number of peoples in the family + age …
      At the same time, increasing the amount of prepared food packaging mean more carbon foot print & cost. Not an easy equation at all !


  • Justin Chen

    11 years ago

    It is not difficult to understand that supermarket consumers only pick the prettiest tomatoes. No one wants to pay for something ugly right? To really help people round the globe understand this impending food crisis, they’ll need to be educated on this matter. TV programmes are good sources to reach out to educate people. Children can be exposed when they have school visits to these farms where they’ll witness the source of the supply chain.
    Produce that are too ripe to be exported overseas could be sold cheaper, locally to reduce waste.

    • Eric Bonsignour

      11 years ago

      Thanks a lot Justin for this suggestions,

      Yes, education through children is a powerful mean to educate actual adults & secure the trend for the future.
      Selling at lower cost is also something to consider, but in this case we are facing a strong dilemma: Selling ugly tomatoes for cheap money or trash these & sale the same amount of nice one for more … Volume vs profit dilemma … Education & increasing of poverty in mature economies maybe be the source of progress ?

      Where are you from ? What is your occupation ?

      Very best regards,

  • Justin Chen

    11 years ago

    Hi Eric, I’m from Singapore and i work in a fantastic company developing content into e-Learning coursewares.
    In a world where even children are connected, e-Learning may provide exponential learning opportunities wherever, whenever.
    I applaud Schneider Electric with their vast expertise in energy management, sharing knowledge with the world through their Energy University using e-Learning!

    • Eric Bonsignour

      11 years ago

      Interesting information Justin !
      Do you have examples of children’s e-learning deployment to share with us ?
      Thanks for your comment about Schneider, this feedback encourage us to do more 🙂

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