Addressing food waste
A report published by a group of American researchers stated that by 2030, the level of food waste will have reached more than two billion tons of food per year.
Food waste is found everywhere and Malta is no exception. It is a world problem. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), a third of the food that is produced every year goes to waste.
Research has found that food waste happens at all stages of the agricultural food chain. It is caused by various factors, including the limitations of vegetable and production and other technical agricultural measures aimed at saving resources, inadequate transport infrastructure, food storage, climate change and the over consumption of food and too big portions. While people are wasting food on this scale on the one hand, on the other more than 800 million people go to sleep hungry.
At the start of last year, the European Union adopted the first goal, shared by all member states, to reduce food waste. The goal is to cut food waste by 50 per cent by 2025.
Research states that there are different reasons for food waste in developed countries and developing countries. In developed countries, food is mainly wasted by people. On the contrary, and this seems obvious, poor and hungry people waste less food. Food waste happens during production because of inefficient agriculture and bad infrastructure when it comes to food storage.
The truth is that all of this relates to the way we behave as consumers. It is our individual behaviour, including buying excessive portions, buying more food than we need, lack of attention given to the expiration dates of the food items we put in our fridges, that leads to food waste. Collectively, positive behaviours helps mitigate this world problem.
Food experts have been saying that for this issue to be addressed, interested parties should make use of the wide range of tools and innovative solutions, including those offered by biotechnology.