February 27, 2015

The True Cost of Food Waste

This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

By Dan Glickman, former US Secretary of Agriculture and Cochair of The Chicago Council's Global Agricultural Development Initiative

The world wastes an astonishing amount of food.  As a recent Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ blog post outlines in stark detail, about 1/3 of all the food that is produced is wasted, which amounts to about $1 trillion worth of food loss each year.  A shocking seven percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from food that is thrown away and the water that goes into producing food that is eventually wasted could fill Switzerland's Lake Geneva two times over.  More nutritious foods are wasted more often:  fruits, vegetables, and fish are wasted in much greater quantities than grain because they are more difficult to transport and require refrigeration.  This makes it all that much harder to make nutritious foods available.  Given food waste’s economic costs, and the fact that nearly a billion people around the globe don’t have enough to eat, it’s time reducing food waste become a major priority.

Continue reading on The Huffington Post >


The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


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