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 >

About

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.

Blogroll

1,000 Days Blog, 1,000 Days

Africa Can End Poverty, World Bank

Agrilinks Blog

Bread Blog, Bread for the World

Can We Feed the World Blog, Agriculture for Impact

Concern Blogs, Concern Worldwide

Institute Insights, Bread for the World Institute

End Poverty in South Asia, World Bank

Global Development Blog, Center for Global Development

The Global Food Banking Network

Harvest 2050, Global Harvest Initiative

The Hunger and Undernutrition Blog, Humanitas Global Development

International Food Policy Research Institute News, IFPRI

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center Blog, CIMMYT

ONE Blog, ONE Campaign

One Acre Fund Blog, One Acre Fund

Overseas Development Institute Blog, Overseas Development Institute

Oxfam America Blog, Oxfam America

Preventing Postharvest Loss, ADM Institute

Sense & Sustainability Blog, Sense & Sustainability

WFP USA Blog, World Food Program USA

Archive





| By Roger Thurow

I am Gita

Roger Thurow's essay "I Am Gita" from The End of Hunger, edited by Jenny Eaton Dyer and Cathleen Falsani.







| By Marshall M. Bouton

India's Mandate for Agricultural Reform

Chicago Council President Emeritus Marshall M. Bouton discusses challenges facing Indian agriculture and potential reforms to meet the government's goal of doubling farmer incomes by 2022.