By Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, February 12, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Much more food is wasted worldwide than is commonly thought, according to a new study.
In 2005, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimated that one third of all food available for human consumption was wasted.
This figure has been used to show the extent of food waste worldwide, but consider supply alone and not consumer behavior.
The new study investigated whether and how consumer wealth (wealth) can affect food waste. The researchers created a data set that provides estimates of global waste and country by country.
Once consumer spending reaches around $ 6.70 per day per person, they discovered that waste grows, initially increasing rapidly with increasing wealth, and then at much slower rates at higher levels of wealth.
The study also suggests that FAO estimates may be too low. FAO estimated that food waste was 214 Kcal / day per person in 2015, but the new model estimated food waste at 527 Kcal / day per person in that year. (Kcal is the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius).
The study was published on February 12 in the journal. Plus one.
"New research that uses data on energy need and consumer wealth shows that consumers waste more than double the food that is commonly believed," the authors wrote, adding that the findings provide "a globally comparable basis." to measure progress in waste reduction.
They also "suggest a threshold level of consumer wealth around which to launch intervention policies to prevent food waste from becoming a big problem," the authors wrote.
Monika van den Bos Verma, from the University of Wageningen and Research in the Netherlands, led the study.
The results suggest that reducing waste globally requires reducing high levels of waste in high-income countries, and preventing waste levels from rising rapidly in low-middle-income nations where wealth is increasing.