Why caring about food waste matters - and more than you might think

How much are you thinking about food waste in your day-to-day life? A lot? A little? Not at all? 

Here at Too Good To Go, we hope to be able to teach you something you don’t already know about food waste - no matter who you are. Whether you’re a business owner, a decision-maker in the industry or a consumer. We’d like to make you a bit more aware of what it all means. That's because you can make a difference - whether it’s big or small.

This might get a little heavy, but sometimes we need a reality check in order to understand the repercussions of our actions.

The inconvenient truth - about food waste

I food waste was a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gasses - second only to China and the USA. Each meal rescued through Too Good To Go saves roughly 2 kilos of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It may not sound like much, but think how much we could save if we worked together!

Each year 1.3 billion tonnes of food goes to waste. That’s enough to feed 3 billion people - almost half of the earth’s population! By 2050, the population will have reached 9 billion people. To be able to feed everyone in 2050, without changing how much food we waste, we need to increase food production by 70%. Right now, we have more than enough food, but in some 30 years we will be struggling to feed everyone - especially if we keep throwing so much out. So why are we wasting so much? 

We wish we had the answer. And the perfect solution.

Food waste is a huge issue. To tackle this problem, we need to have more than one solution. Too Good To Go provides one answer to the problem, but if we are to eradicate food waste once and for all, so much more needs to be done. At all levels.

Food waste occurs at both production and consumer levels. In developing countries, 40% of food waste occurs at post-harvest and processing levels due to limited access to optimal cooling systems at harvest sites, amongst other reasons. However, in industrialized countries more than 40% of food waste occurs at consumer and retail levels. 

We can clearly see that we need more than one solution to this global problem. Consumers need to be aware of the impact their food waste has. The supermarkets must make changes. The restaurants must get better at using and producing food. Harvest sites need more attention - and so on. The problem is everywhere, which is why the solution also needs to be.

But it’s not all bad news

The UN has defined 17 Sustainable Development Goals set to eradicate some of the major issues we are facing such as, poverty, low levels of education, lack of clean water, clean energy etc. Two of these 17 goals are focusing on food. These are food security and sustainable consumption.

Goal number 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

Goal number 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. 

With an entity like the UN putting it on their agenda, we can only hope that battling food waste will gain more momentum and eventually food waste will become a thing of the past.

It’s safe to say that the fight against food waste is not just a here-and-now thing. It’s about ensuring a viable future for everyone. Food waste is both a climate issue and a resource issue. There is only loss and no gain if food waste is not tackled head on and reduced significantly.

Sisse Hansen

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