The Global Crisis of Food Waste

Food waste is a significant conflict that has existed in a global context for decades. It exists in all geographical regions of the world, however the impact of food waste is arguably most prevalent in North America. According to, “roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. Food losses and waste amounts to roughly US$ 680 billion in industrialized countries and US$ 310 billion in developing countries”.

Perhaps it is because of my agricultural background, but witnessing food being wasted is something that greatly perterbs me. Considering starvation and world hunger remain active forces in contemporary society, avoiding food waste could greatly contribute to ending such conflicts, however food is still wasted daily.

Avoiding food waste is a simple concept. For example, if you go out for dinner at a restaurant and are aware ahead of time that said restaurant serves large portions, consider splitting an entree with someone or taking what you cannot eat home with you to eat the next day. If you receive your meal in a restaurant and it fails to be what you ordered, consider asking for a component of your meal to be adjusted rather than the entire serving. Simple practices such as these can go a long way when it comes to abstaining from wasting food, especially if more and more persons participate in these practices.

Avoid buying food in bulk to prevent eventual waste and try to prepare minimal amounts of food to avoid cooking too much and having to throw it away when it expires. Use a compost bin, research how to freeze leftovers, consider donating excess amounts of food to shelters and charity organizations and be conscious of how wasteful actions may megatively impact those in need. Avoiding food waste is not difficult nor is it impossible, and a conscious effort to make smarter choices can make a world of difference when it comes to food mindfulness.

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