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Food waste

Food waste


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By Manuel Guerrero Boldó

Some practice resulting from this economic system is the destruction of surpluses, through which food prices can be defended. Other notable ones may be the losses that are generated in transport, restaurants, canteens or the role of supermarkets that clearly encourage overconsumption that aims to raise purchases above our real needs and responsible consumption.

Poor countries are the ones that suffer the most from this consumer drift that causes food shortages for a significant part of their inhabitants. In turn, in these impoverished territories, food losses mainly occur in the first stage of the food chain, in the production phase. The lack of infrastructure suitable for the necessary refrigeration and storage conditions, as well as the low level of technology condemn these countries doubly. However, it can be observed that in industrialized countries, losses are concentrated around 40% in distribution and in the final consumption phase.

An evident relationship between the waste generated in enriched countries and its impact on the poorest countries is found in the prices of cereals such as wheat, rice or corn. These cereals have global prices that determine the cost of these foods in Asian or African markets in the same way as they do for European or North American supermarkets.

The amount of cereals that rich countries import and export depends on the amount consumed inside them, but also on what is thrown away. This is directly related to the food shortage that exists in impoverished countries, since if millions of tons of cereals are sent to the garbage can from the West, this practice will lead to fewer cereals available on the world market.

This also puts increased pressure on global food supplies, resulting in higher prices that will negatively impact the ability of poor people to buy enough food to survive. At this point it is convenient to highlight the following statement by Tristam Stuart (one of the leading experts on social and environmental issues of food): Since the supply of food has become a global phenomenon and especially when the demand is greater that supply, throwing food into the trash can is truly taking it from the world market and removing it from the mouths of the hungry. [2]

This is one of the consequences caused by treating food as a mere consumer merchandise absolutely devoid of values ​​and in many cases of quality, which only obeys a logic and economic rules of the market.


Another serious consequence is the footprint of food waste or what is the same: damage to natural resources. The first study - elaborated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations or FAO, for its acronym in English - has recently been carried out on the consequences of the practice of food waste for the climate, the use of water and soil and biodiversity. [3] Despite the fact that the demand from rich countries can stimulate production and therefore have a “positive” impact on economic activity in impoverished countries; the creation of surpluses entails unacceptable damages when the ecological limits are reached.

We must be aware that all the food that we produce but that we do not consume subsequently, uses a very high volume of water, and also entails the emission of millions of tons of greenhouse gases that accumulate in the atmosphere. Disadvantages related to land use, resource depletion, etc., are issues to be addressed as a priority.

On October 16, World Food Day was celebrated in 150 countries. The event was held at the FAO headquarters in Rome, it has left, once again, a declaration of good intentions that can hardly be carried out within the margins of the dominant economic logic. The Italian Minister for Agrarian, Food and Forestry Policy also addressed the problem in cultural terms as she concluded that: “reducing food waste is not really just a strategy for times of crisis, but a way of life that we must adopt if we want a sustainable future for our planet ”. [4]

Waste is a variable created by the current economic system, but from this it must not be deduced that the individual level is inconsequential. This consumer drift can also be fought as individuals aware of the clear cultural component of this problem. Carlo Petrini -founder and visible head of the international Slow Food movement- points out that:

On an individual level it is easier than you think: not wasting, recovering the recipes, of which our gastronomic-cultural tradition is rich, taking advantage of the leftovers, making the purchase in a balanced and precise way, not giving in to deceit of large distribution and its great offers, preferably consume local and seasonal products, make purchases more times, etc. [5]

The Slow Food movement [6] - which currently has more than 100,000 members in 150 countries - is one of the manifestations of change from below, from awareness as responsible individuals. This movement aims to modify certain unhealthy dietary patterns of which we are participants, based on a high consumption of highly processed and ecologically destructive meat. Slow Food is just one example of a countercultural practice but it serves to illustrate the idea that each of us has a share of responsibility in this food and environmental obscenity.

Notes: [1] T. Stuart, Waste: the global scandal of the economy, Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 2011, p. 100. [2] T. Stuart, «Perishable possessions», PAPERS of ecosocial relations and social change, Nº120, 2013, p. 142. [3] See http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3347e/i3347e.pdf [4] See http://www.fao.org/news/story/es/item/202860/icode / [5M. Di Donato, «Interview with Carlo Petrini», PAPERS of ecosocial relations and global change, Nº 118, 2012, pp. 200-201. [6] See http://www.slowfood.com/

Time to act


Video: SavingFood Educational on food waste (May 2022).


Comments:

  1. Dakinos

    It's easier to say than to do.

  2. Cenwalh

    What's in my name for you, you appreciate the volume of the chest. And the forest is so mysterious, and the tears are so thoughtful. Everyone has the right to the left. "Blue runs - the car is swinging ..." Every woman deserves sex, but not every woman - twice

  3. Welford

    Today I read a lot on this issue.

  4. Ambrose

    Yes indeed. I agree with everything above per said.

  5. Mikaktilar

    In my opinion, they are wrong. We need to discuss.



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