The decrease in the quantity or quality of food is known as food loss or food waste. Hunger is still one of the most urgent development challenges, yet the world is producing more than enough food.
Food waste is part of food loss and refers to discarding or alternative non-food use of food that is safe and nutritious for human consumption along the entire food supply chain, from primary production to end household consumer level.
Food safety and quality standards can be applied in ways that remove food that is still safe for human consumption from the food supply chain. Loss and wastage occur on all steps in the food supply chain. In low-income countries, most loss occurs during production, post-harvest, and processing level.
Causes of food wastage:
- The date of food use is passed out: These foods are those foods which as passed out the expiry date of food use. We throw them away due to the fear of getting health risks we could show too if we eat such food such as fish, dairy food, meat etc.
- Food leftovers: We people tend to take foodstuffs more than our stomach can take thinking that we will eat it all but we end up eating less since nobody else in the house would be willing to eat it the food left.
- Half used food: This is as similar to leftover foods. this type of food ends up in the fridge but never gets used to eating again. Which we know where these foods end up.
- Refrigerated food: This type of food waste is at home itself which can be useful but smells bad, taste bad and do it is thrown away.
- Plan changes: Now sometimes as per family needs they tend to eat something else but not what is cooked it ends wasting food which the family was going to eat in the first place.
Solutions to food losses and food waste:
- Reducing Food Loss Close to the Farm.
- Use awareness rising on the impact of and solutions for food loss and waste.
- Improved storage methods.
- Redistribute food.
- Reducing Food Waste Close to the Fork.
- Better food date labels.
- Reduce portion sizes.
- Launch consumer campaign.
- Developing the food loss and waste management protocol.
- Increase in the investment post harvests losses in developing the countries.
- Create entitles to reduce food waste in developed countries.
Types of food waste and food losses:
- Distribution: Wholesale markets, supermarkets, retailers and wet makers which includes the losses and waste in the market system.
- Consumption: This includes waste during household work and losses.
- Processing: Losses occur due to the crops when they are sorted out if which is not suitable to process or during washing, peeling, slicing and boiling or during the process of interruption and accidental spillage.
- Agriculture production: The loss during mechanical damage or during the spillage harvest operation like threshing or fruit picking.