Food waste in numbers

Sisse Hansen

3 years ago

Whether you’re a professional or hobby cook, a passionate environmentalist, or somewehere in between, you may not have given these numbers much thought: 1,3 billion tons, 100 million tons, 18 million tons, 1,127 tons, 19 tons, 313 kg.

What do these numbers have to do with food?

Well, since this is coming from us, you’ve probably guessed it's about food waste. These figures come from a German WWF study from 2015 (if your German is up to par, you can dive into the numbers here).

Let's put one of these numbers into context: up til now, you have spent maybe half a minute reading. Did you know that every minute, just about 19 tons of food is wasted in Germany? For every second you spend thinking about this problem, another 313 kilos are wasted. Wow.

There are different calculation methods and definitions, which means that a lot of data on global food waste are estimates. However, it is agreed that between 30-40% of agricultural goods are lost along the value chain before reaching the end consumer. This is equivalent to about 1,3 billion tonnes of wasted food per year.

This immense waste has been ignored for a long time, but now it is finally being added to the political agendas. Furthermore, consumers, NGOs, companies and more are increasingly undergoing a change of consciousness. Our concept supports companies and consumers who are passionate about conserving our resources and spending them more consciously.

That’s also why we have an ambitious mission - and we want you to be part of it. 

Do you need some more numbers for good measure? You got it; 10 million tons; the year 2030; 2,6 hectares. 

These numbers are not only about the current extent of food waste, but also about big goals and potentials.

What is happening in the year 2030? 

The United Nations has set itself some ambitious goals with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): 50% of global food waste per capita at retail and consumer levels is to be reduced by 2030.

For Germany alone, the potential avoidance of food waste is currently estimated at around 10 million tonnes per year. That's 10 million tons, which are produced unnecessarily every year. This is wasting about 2,6 million hectares of arable land. That’s more than 3,5 million football fields.

We do not have to be mathematicians, climatologists, or agricultural experts to realize that our waste has reached tremendous proportions. Each and every one of us can do something to make sure that these numbers will be much lower in 2030 - whether through better planned grocery shopping, smarter food storage or a portion of surplus goods from the shop around the corner.

Well… Why not end these slightly upsetting figures on a high note.

Our new favorite number: 3,000,000

That’s our latest milestone. Yes, that’s how many meals you have helped us save. This has prevented roughly 6,000 tonnes of CO2e. How much is that, you ask? Just around 5,000 flights from Berlin to New York. That's a lot! But we can do even more - so let's do it together!

Sisse Hansen