Food Waste in the U.K.

Wasted Food We have a lot of problems in the world today and one of these problems is food waste. I will be going over facts and statistics of one of the leading countries that produces food waste; the United Kingdom. There is another problem out there that could reduce this problem and that is United Kingdom citizens that are malnourished and starving to death. What if one problem was another problems solution? The amount of food waste worldwide could end world hunger and save thousands of lives.

It is easy to sit at home with a full belly and full fridge and not think of these kinds of problems. If every time people were going to throw away perfectly good food and saw a starving family or child they would easily give that family or child the food. The problem is we do not see these family and children every day. The average United Kingdom family is wasting nearly 60 euros a month by throwing away almost an entire meal a day (Smithies). This is 24 meals a month, adding up to 4. 2 million tons of food and drink every year that could have been consumed (Smithies).

The UK food industry is wasting an estimated cost of 5 billion euros per year (GOB). Reducing the volume of food wasted in food manufacturing, retailing and foddering operations means reducing the overall costs of these operations. Efficient, cost-effective companies are best positioned to deliver affordable products to consumers, grow, create Jobs and support their communities (FAR). England itself has a huge hunger problem that people are not aware of. In 2008, 3,161 patients were admitted to hospital in England which went up to more than 5,400 in 2012 (Hope).

The number of people fed by food banks has gone up from 26,000 in 2008 to 347,000 in 2012 (Hope). England is considered to have a surplus of food supply and from the evidence shown in the first paragraph these next statistics go back to my point of solving a problem with a problem. 78 percent of malnourished children live in countries that have a surplus of food and there is enough food being produced in the world today to feed every person 2,720 calories each day. Hunger is the world’s number 1 health risk it kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined (Food Security and Welfare Politics).

Food Waste does not only effect people who are malnourished and hungry but it also hurting our environment. When food waste decomposes in a landfill, it generates methane, a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Keeping food waste out of landfills will result in reduced methane emissions. Also, growing food requires many resources, including water and energy. Wasted food is a waste of the resources used to grow it (FAR). Eliminating food waste at the source is the preferred approach.

But when food waste is generated, it can be recycled into impost or energy, which offer a number of environmental benefits. Compost improves soil health and structure, increases drought resistance, and reduces the need for other fertilizer. Also, food waste doesn’t create methane in a compost system the way it does in a landfill. Food waste can also be turned into renewable energy through anaerobic digestion, where the methane emissions from broken down food are captured to produce biogas, heat and energy (FAR).

The solution to this problem of food waste has already started and there are a lot of great organizations out there that everyone should be aware of. The Food Waste Reduction

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Alliance is an example of a great organization that more people need to be aware of. The Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FAR) is a collaborative effort of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Food Marketing Institute, and the National Restaurant Association. The FARMS mission is to reduce the volume of food waste sent to landfill by addressing the root causes of waste, and securing pathways to donate or recycle unavoidable food waste (FAR).

Large food producing companies in the United Kingdom have started to make progress Tests has agreed to reduce its multi-buy teems and other promotions after revealing that 35% of its bagged salad is being thrown out (Smithies). The United Kingdom is working with Waste and Resources Action Programmer’s and businesses on voluntary agreements to reduce food and packaging waste as well as providing ideas and information to help waste less, through the WRAPS Love Food, Hate Waste campaign (GOB).

Another great example of ways the United Kingdom government are reducing waste is the Courtyard Commitment a responsibility deal in the grocery retail sector which includes finding says to reducing household waste from groceries, and also the hospitality and food service voluntary agreement, which aims to cut food and associated packaging waste by 5 percent and increase the overall rate of food and packaging waste that is being recycled, sent to anaerobic digestion or composted to 70 percent by 2015.

In conclusion food waste in the United Kingdom is Just a small portion of what is going on around the world. The United Kingdom itself is wasting enough food to feed Europe, imagine the statistics and facts of the rest of Europe and even the United States. This seems to be a problem that is so easy to solve that it’s hard. There are a lot of great organizations out there doing the right thing and politicians who are trying to pass the laws to stop wood waste.

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