How the World Wastes Hundreds of Billions of Meals in a Year

May 4, 2024 | 0 comments

Think twice before throwing out your leftovers.

A billion meals are wasted every single day, according to a recent report from the United Nations. And that’s a conservative estimate.

It’s not just food down the drain, but money, too. The 2024 UN Food Waste Index report — which measured food waste at the consumer and retail level across more than 100 countries — found that over a trillion dollars worth of food gets thrown out every year, from households to grocery stores to farms, all across the globe.

Such waste takes a significant toll on the environment. The process of producing food — the raising of animals, the land and water use, and the subsequent pollution that goes with it — is horribly intensive on the planet. Food waste squanders those efforts, and then makes it worse: as it rots in landfills, it creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Food waste alone is responsible for an estimated 8 to 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the report. To put that into perspective, if food waste were a country, it would be third in emissions produced, behind only the United States and China.

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